European Union negotiators in free trade talks with Australia are offering such low import quotas for sugar that they are not commercially viable to ship, reported Reuters.
Over the past two years, EU sugar prices have surged twofold, contributing to widespread food price inflation. Stringent environmental regulations have curtailed local sugar production, forcing an increased reliance on imports subject to duties.
Since 2018, the EU has been in ongoing trade negotiations with Australia, a large producer of sugar and other agricultural commodities. As per media report, the bloc has proposed to allow around 15,000-20,000 metric tons of tariff-free raw sugar imports from Australia a year,
However, industry experts contend that typical bulk shipping carriers can accommodate around 40,000 tons of sugar, rendering it commercially unfeasible to ship such reduced quantities.