Paris: Ukrainian sugar imports into the European Union (EU) surged tenfold last season and continued to increase at the start of the current 2023/24 season, surpassing Brazil as the EU’s top sugar supplier, reported Reuters.
In the concluded 2022-23 season, Ukrainian sugar imports into the EU soared to 413,000 metric tonnes, marking a significant increase from the 40,000 metric tonnes recorded in the 2021-22 season. The EU’s decision to lift import duties on Ukrainian sugar, mirroring actions taken for other commodities after the commencement of the conflict with Russia, has stirred discontent among local producers who decry the move as unfair competition.
The proportion of Ukrainian sugar in the total EU sugar imports surged to 16% in the last season, and this trend has persisted in the early stages of the current 2023-24 season, reaching 38% of total imports in October and the first three weeks of November, as reported by the Commission.
Conversely, Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, witnessed a decline in its share of EU sugar imports to 8% during the same period, in contrast to the 32% share it held throughout the 2022/23 season.
Notably, around one-third of Ukrainian sugar in the 2022/23 season found its way to neighboring Romania, followed by Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, each with smaller shares.