US to need more sugar despite USDA import increase

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:45pm GMT

* U.S. sugar supplies still seen tight

* May need 400,000-500,000 short tons of added imports

* USDA to evaluate domestic sweetener market in June

By Rene Pastor

NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - The United States will need to import more sugar on top of what the government was allowing because supplies remain tight in the domestic market, industry sources said Thursday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday approved an increase in raw sugar imports of 450,000 short tons (408,233 tonnes) because of a supply crunch in the United States, one of the world's biggest markets.

An informal survey of sugar brokers in the U.S. projected that imports of another 400,000 to 500,000 short tons (362,873-453,592 tonnes) would be needed to feed food, confectionary and industrial companies.

"I do not think it's enough. But the USDA has to balance what the industry needs and help growers on the price front," one broker said.

USDA said the import allowance was enough for now, but it would take another look at the market come June.   Continued...

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