EU plan to scrap sugar quotas

Brussels is set to propose abolishing sugar production quotas and guaranteed minimum prices from 2016.

The current sugar regime – which runs until 2015 – would be extended until 30 September 2016 before it is abolished, according to news agency Reuters.

The plan aims to boost sugar beet output and reduce sugar prices with the European Union, aligning it more closely with world markets.

Ending quotas in 2016 would lead to a 1.9% increase in the EU sugar beet area in 2020, according to an EU assessment of the policy.

It would also lead to an 8.2% fall in EU sugar beet prices by the same date.

The report also predicts a 6.9% rise in EU sugar exports and 4.7% cut in imports by 2020, though the EU would remain a net importer.

The Reuters report is based on comments made by two EU sources with knowledge of the plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Extending the quota system by a further year would “allow for a reasonable period of adjustment for operators in the sector”, said one source.

• What’s the future of sugar beet growing in the UK?

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