CIUS statement on imports of sugar from Ukraine

The Committee of European Sugar Users is shocked to see calls for blocking imports of sugar from Ukraine. Such calls are unjustified on so many levels – but here we just focus on European economic interest. In addition to helping the Ukrainian economy, the freeing up of sugar imports from Ukraine has been vital for the European food industry.

As you can see in the attached slide deck, the EU has a structural sugar deficit – since several years now. This is due to a combination of insufficient planting of sugar beet in the EU and excessive restrictions on imports that make it impossible to fill the gap in an economically viable manner. Shortages have undermined the growth of the EU’s high value add agri-food exports, and thus the European economy.  Even with the dramatic increase of imports of sugar from Ukraine since the EU lifted restrictions, there is still a shortage of supply in the EU of this vital raw material for strong export industries such as confectionery and fine bakery wares.

We need more sugar from Ukraine (and Europe and other sustainable sources) – not less!  The food industry needs certainty that Ukraine will remain open as a source of supply long term, as alternative sources are so limited. This will help to reduce the EU sugar deficit and to provide the EU food industry with capacity and confidence to increase high value add exports, thus contributing to EU economic growth in addition to providing vital economic help to a country that deserves all the support Europe can provide.

Our statement is available here

You will find a CIUS presentation on The EU’s structural sugar deficit here