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CHEAP BRAZIL, UAE IMPORTS DISPLACE ESWATINI SUGAR

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MBABANE – Cheap imports from non-SACU States displace locally produced sugar, which has prompted stock to either be kept or sold at low value to world markets.

 
This significantly reduces the returns for the Eswatini sugar industrury. During the year that has just ended, Eswatini supplied to various sugar markets in proportions of 60 per cent into Southern African Customs Union (SACU), 12 per cent to the region (Southern African Development Community – SADC - and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-COMESA), 17 per cent to the European Union (EU), four per cent to the United States (US) and the balance of seven per cent to the rest of the world.


Swaziland Sugar Association (SSA) Commercial Director Sharon De Sousa said South Africa and Eswatini as the only sugar producers in SACU) shared the same concerns about the flooding of the common market by cheap imports from outside SACU.


“We are in solidarity with the South African people who have expressed concerns about these imports,” De Sousa explained. SSA’s reaction was prompted by the proposed march reported by Business Day where over 2 000 members of the sugar industry in South Africa are expected to march against an alleged flood of imports mainly from Brazil, the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.


Appeal


The publication reported that the march would be in line with an appeal that has been made to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) to expedite the decision on the application by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) for higher tariffs on imported sugar. 


 “The Eswatini sugar industry appeals to the two governments to work with their SACU partners to ensure that the sugar import tariff into SACU is at a level that protects the domestic industry from such imports,” De Sousa pleaded.  
De Sousa pointed out that the Eswatini sugar industry is rated among the top efficient sugar producers in the world and continues to pursue strategies to improve its efficiencies.


However, she said it still struggles to compete with sugar imports as the prices of these imports were not reflective of the ‘true’ costs production given various subsidies/concessions given to the sugar industries in these countries.

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