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USDA Raises Import Limits on Sugar

The USDA is about to publish a notice in the Federal Register raising the fiscal 2020 tariff-rate quota for raw cane sugar to 1.43 million metric tons. 

The agency will also just about double the low-duty quota for refined sugar to more than 373,000 metric tons. 

Ted McKinney, USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Ag, says the actions come after the “determination that additional supplies of raw cane and refined sugar are required in the U.S. market.” 

McKinney tells Politico that further adjustments for fiscal 2020 are still possible. 

Poor weather dragged down sugar production in Louisiana, one of the country’s key sugar cane-growing states. 

It also led to one of the worst sugar beet harvests in decades in states like Minnesota and North Dakota. 

In the meantime, Mexico, one of the top U.S. suppliers of sugar, has faced production problems of its own. 

USDA lowered its sugar production forecast in March to just over eight million short tons this year. 

That’s a decrease of 127,000 from the February forecast, and just about one million tons less than last year’s crop.

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