EU may relax restrictions on domestic sugar supplies, imports after consumers complain, source says; EU's Sugar Management Committee could meet April 12 to discuss proposals

LOS ANGELES , March 14, 2012 () – The European Union may relax restrictions on domestic sugar supplies and imports after shortages caused consumers to complain, according to a source with direct knowledge of the proposals, Bloomberg reported March 14.

Additional sugar imports would likely take place through tenders, according to the person who declined to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. The EU may also permit producers to sell more sugar domestically, the person added.

The bloc’s Sugar Management Committee could convene April 12 to discuss the proposals, according to the source.

Sugar prices in the EU have touched the highest level since at least 2006 in January, European Commission data shows. Prices reached an average of €683 (US$889) a tonne in January, the data shows.

The supply in the EU is tight, presenting a problematic situation, according to Muriel Korter, secretary general of the Brussels-based Committee of European Sugar Users.

The bloc suspended import tenders in January, citing insufficient supplies.

Sugar production in the EU is forecast to reach 18.26 million tonnes this season, up from 15.43 million tonnes last year, according to EU estimates.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on March 14, 2012.

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