Sugar growers sweet on EU decision

BY ADRIAN MILLER

LOCAL sugar producers have cause for optimism after the European Union (EU) will be forced to remove four million tonnes of sugar from the world market.

That is the view of Clarence Canegrowers Association president Vince Castle after EU sugar subsidies to farmers were found to be illegal by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Mr Castle said while it was too early to tell exactly what impact the ruling would have on the world market, it was good news for local growers.

"The very fact that four million tonnes of sugar is not going to hit the world market further down the track should have some impact," he said.

"We welcome this decision. It's too early to quantify what it will do, but already you can say it will have some impact."

Mr Castle said he couldn't make predictions on sugar prices at this early stage, but expects the market to stabilise.

"It might flatten the market out in a much more even price, whereas before when sugar like that hit the market you got a slump in the world price straight away," he said.

NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative chief executive officer Greg Messiter said it would take some time to implement the changes, but in the long term it was a positive move.



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