13 Mar 2024 14:03

Russia increases sugar exports 3.3-fold since August 1, 2023 to over 700,000 tonnes - Agriculture Ministry

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) - Russia exported over 700,000 tonnes of sugar from August 1, 2023 through the end of February 2024, a 3.3-fold increase over the same period last season (the agricultural year in Russia for sugar starts on August 1); limiting exports will allow for a sufficient volume of carry-over reserves and provide sufficient sugar volumes for EAEU partners, the Ministry of Agriculture said, commenting on its proposal to introduce a ban on sugar exports through August 31, 2024.

Russian sugar is one of the most affordable in the world, which stimulates demand for it on the world market, the Agriculture Ministry said. This season, the geography for sugar exports has expanded significantly. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, North Korea, and Senegal have started to import it.

"Taking into account the need to ensure a sufficient level of sugar stocks at the end of the current season, as well as the forecast production volumes and the needs of the domestic market for this product, about 200,000 tonnes can be exported by the end of the 2023/24 season. Based on the forecast indicative balance of sugar for the EAEU countries for 2024, this volume should be sent to our partners in the EAEU by the end of the season," the ministry said.

"The regulatory measure proposed by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture will allow us to fully implement the agreements on sugar supplies to our partners in the EAEU and ensure a stable situation in the domestic market," the ministry said.

Sugar production in Russia this season is projected to reach 6.8 million tonnes, which is 9.8% more than last season, the ministry said. At the same time, domestic consumption is about 6 million tonnes. The positive production dynamics are due to a high sugar beet harvest, which, according to Rosstat, reached 53.1 million tonnes in 2023, the second best harvest in history.

As reported, the Agriculture Ministry has prepared a draft government resolution, which states: "Establish, from the date of entry into force of this resolution through August 31, 2024 inclusive, a temporary ban on the export of cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in its solid state (code 1701 of the EAEU HS) from the Russian Federation." It provides for a number of exceptions. The ban will not apply specifically to sugar exported to EAEU countries within the volumes provided for by the indicative balances.