USDA announces fiscal year 2009 sugar program

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2008 — The U. S. Department of Agriculture today established the initial parameters for the fiscal year 2009 sugar program.

Using the latest data available, USDA has established the Fiscal Year 2009 overall allotment quantity at 8,925,000 short tons, raw value, which is 85 percent of the estimated FY 2009 domestic human sugar consumption.

USDA established the FY 2009 raw sugar tariff-rate quota at 1,231,497 short tons, raw value — the United States minimum access commitment under World Trade Organization rules. USDA established the FY 2009 refined and specialty sugar tariff-rate quota at 104,251, which is 80,000 above the WTO Agreement required minimum of 24,251 short tons, raw value, to adequately supply the robust domestic organic food market. This announcement does not include quantities of sugar that may enter the United States under applicable market access provisions of free trade agreements.

FY 2009 Sugar Marketing Allotment Program

As required by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended by the 2008 Farm Bill, domestic sugar marketing allotments are in effect for FY 2009. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, requires the Secretary to establish the overall allotment quantity at not less than 85 percent of the estimated quantity of sugar for domestic human consumption (10,500,000 STRV, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, 8/12/2008, page 16), or 8,925,000 STRV. The OAQ is being set at the minimum level.

The OAQ is allocated to the beet and cane sectors as:

  • Beet Sugar: 4,850,738 STRV
  • Cane Sugar: 4,074,262 STRV
  • FY 2009 Refined Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ)

The FY 2009 refined sugar TRQ is established at 104,251 STRV for which the sucrose content, by weight in the dry state, must have a polarimeter reading of 99.5 degrees or more. This includes the United States minimum access commitment under the WTO of 24,251 STRV, and an additional specialty sugar amount of 80,000 STRV to accommodate a rapidly expanding organic food sector. Included within the WTO refined sugar TRQ is a minimum specialty sugar TRQ of 1,825 STRV.

USDA will administer the FY 2009 specialty sugar TRQ of 81,825 (1,825 + 80,000) STRV in five tranches. Because this is a first-come, first-served TRQ, tranches are needed to allow for orderly marketing throughout the year. The first tranche, totaling 1,825 STRV, will open Oct. 23, 2008. All specialty sugars are eligible for entry under this tranche. The second tranche will open on Nov. 10, 2008, and be equal to 28,310 STRV. The remaining three tranches will each be equal to 17,230 STRV, with the third opening on Jan. 14, 2009; the fourth, on May 19, 2009; and the fifth, on Aug. 24, 2009. The second, third, fourth, and fifth tranches will be reserved for organic sugar and other specialty sugars not currently produced commercially in the United States or reasonably available from domestic sources.

The authority for establishing the raw and the refined TRQs under the WTO is the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Chapter 17, and Additional U.S. Note 5 of Chapter 17. The U.S. Trade Representative will subsequently announce the country allocations of these TRQs.

USDA believes the domestic market will require additional supplies of sugar during FY 2009. USDA will closely monitor stocks, consumption, imports and all sugar market and program variables on an ongoing basis. During the year, appropriate adjustments will be made to sugar program parameters to ensure an adequate supply of sugar for the domestic market.

USDA will separately announce initial FY 2009 cane state allotments and sugarcane and sugar beet processor allocations on an individual processor basis.

For further information regarding trade programs, contact Ron Lord, Foreign Agricultural Service, at (202) 720-2916, and for the domestic program, contact Dan Colacicco, FSA, at (202) 720-3451.

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