October 22, 1999

On September 14, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously to revoke a 19 year-old anti-dumping order affecting Rogers Sugar. The ITC voted 6-0 that there is no potential injury from refined sugar imported from Canada. They referred to the very small volume of Canadian exports that "represented approximately 0.1 percent of (U.S.) domestic consumption." This was despite the fact that sugar prices in Canada are far lower than U.S. prices according to the report. The ITC ruled that "imports from Canada are likely to have no discernable adverse impact on the domestic industry."

Review of this antidumping order was required as a result of new WTO rules which now prevent countries from maintaining old orders that cannot be justified. While the antidumping duties on Canadian exports have been zero since 1982, removal of the order will remove administrative burden and prevent confusion at the border that has often resulted in costly delays for Canadian refined sugar producers and processors. Removal of this order does not affect the numerous other U.S. trade barriers that continue to protect the U.S. industry from outside competition.

At the same time, the ITC voted to continue antidumping and countervailing duties on EU sugar. They stated that, "despite the high internal price of sugar in the EU . . . the EU sugar program encourages large surplus production and makes the EU one of the world's largest net exporters of sugar." The ITC ruled that if the orders against the EU were revoked, "substantial volumes" of sugar would likely enter the U.S. leading to material injury.

Alberta Sugar Beet Harvest in Full Swing

Early indications are promising for a good sugar beet harvest in Alberta. According to Rogers Sugar and the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, the crop looks good both in terms of yield and sugar content. Mid way through the harvest, yields are average or better but the sugar content is above 18%. Rogers' sugar beet processing plant in Taber Alberta is running at capacity.

Presidential Proclamation

On October 8, the White House released a Presidential proclamation providing the necessary authority to enable the U.S. to require Canadian export certificates for entry into Canada's allocation of the U.S. quota (TRQ) for sugar-containing products. This will help Canadian government authorities ensure that all Canadian exporters are playing by the rules and shipping their fair share into the restricted U.S. market.

U.S. Court Overturns Customs Reclassification of Sugar-Molasses Syrups

The U.S. Court of International Trade has struck down a recent Customs ruling that would have dramatically increased duties on imports of "stuffed molasses." In September, U.S. Customs reclassified sugar-molasses syrups containing more that 6% non-sugar solids ("stuffed molasses") into a tariff category that is subject to U.S. refined sugar import restrictions. On October 14, the U.S. Court of International Trade overturned the Customs decision. As a result, a Windsor, Ontario company can continue to send molasses syrups to the U.S. from Canada under an earlier low duty classification.

The syrup is a combination of raw sugar and molasses which is blended in Canada but refined in the U.S. to produce a refined liquid sugar. This decision does not affect Canadian producers and manufacturers of refined sugar.

Agriculture Canada's Sugar Industry Profile

Another valuable source of information about the industry has been produced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The bilingual Sub-Sector Profile - The Canadian Cane and Beet Sugar Industry - - is available from the Food Bureau.