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Indian sugar support package confirms Australian industry fears

Additional sugar industry support measures, totaling approximately A$1 billion, were announced by the Indian government yesterday (26 September 2018), confirming the fears of the Australian industry and sending world sugar prices to decade lows.

‘Our concerns have already been taken up strongly by Australia’s Trade Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supported by the Australian Sugar Milling Council’s (ASMC) initial analysis.

However with current prices more than 30% below the cost of production for many in the Australian industry further action is urgently needed’ explained sugar milling council CEO, David Pietsch.

While the global sugar market had priced much of this eventuality in, these measures will force global sugar prices even lower, hurting sugar mills and cane growers in Australia, who do not receive government subsidies.

‘ASMC believes India is in breach of its World Trade Organisation obligations in terms of the levels of price support provided to farmers, and transport subsidies to dump excess supply onto the world sugar market.

We are calling on the Australian Government to intensify representations to the Indian Government and to canvas like-minded sugar exporting nations to join Australia in pursuit of action against India at the WTO’ added Mr Pietsch.

27 September 2018