Egypt has cancelled a tariff imposed last year on sugar exports

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CAIRO – Egypt has cancelled a tariff imposed last year on sugar exports, the ministry of trade and industry said, in a move that opens the door for exports to resume.

The government imposed the tariff of 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($168) per tonne as part of efforts to stem a rise in sugar prices in the local market.

The ministry said in a statement that the decision to lift the levy was made because of a sugar surplus in the market that could be exported.

One trader welcomed the decision as “long overdue”, though another said exporting sugar was not attractive at present because the global futures market was low.

Financial daily Alborsa quoted Hassan Kamel, chairman of Nubaria Sugar, as saying it would help his company market some 160,000 tonnes it has in stock, including some 128,000 from this season’s production.

But another trader, who asked not to be named, said: “We need the local market prices to drop or the futures to trade up by $40 a tonne for this to be effective.

“With the current market structure we will see some brown sugar exports and very little to Libya that’s it.”

An adviser to the supply ministry said in May that Egypt did not expect to import additional sugar this year as it had enough strategic reserves to meet its needs for more than eight months.

Egypt had previously said it expected to produce about 2.3 million tonnes of sugar this year. It consumes about 3 million and fills the gap with imports.

($1 = 17.8300 Egyptian pounds) (Reuters)

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