The European Union’s sugar industry will increasingly shift to lower cost producers such as France and Germany after the dismantling of output quotas in October 2017, with the outlook bleak for Mediterranean and Nordic growers.
Senior industry figures attending the Platts EU sugar seminar said they also expected the EU to switch from being a net sugar importer to a net exporter after quotas end. Delegates said the least efficient EU beet growing producers, such as Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and the Nordic countries, would struggle to compete post-2017.
“The mere fact that under the quota system they are struggling, does not bode well for them,” Martin van Driel, DG Agriculture of the European Commission, said.
Analysts said continuing national supports to the beet sugar sector could delay the demise of some of the least efficient beet industries, but government support to declining industries was not likely to be indefinite.