EU farmers rush to plant sugar, free to seek exports as quotas end

By Mariana Ionova and Gus Trompiz | LONDON/PARIS EU farmers are ramping up production of sugar beet this year when they will be freed at last to grow as much as they want and sell it globally, after a decade of strict output quotas and export limits. Farmers have started drilling the first post-quota crop this month in several EU member states, including top EU producer France where planting is expected to increase by 20 percent, in line with an expected rise across the bloc. Their return to global trade means European producers will compete for business with emerging beet sugar exporters like Russia and Ukraine, as well as refiners that import cane to make white sugar, such as the United Arab Emirates. But it also means farmers now face the sort of risk they have not seen for years: exposure to prices that can go down as well as up. After rallying to a 4-year high in September, benchmark ICE white sugar futures have slumped more than 17 percent, touching their weakest in over 9 months last week. “We are bound to see price volatility but that’s something we face in other crops as well. This is part of

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Source: CTRM Center

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