Sugar trade and the World Trade Organization

Bruno Bourges

The views of the French sugar industry with respect to the next negotiations in the framework of the WTO are presented. While there are only very few exporting countries, mostly industrialized, for corn and grain, in case of sugar more than 20 countries make up 85% of the world market. The stability of the world market prices for sugar is lower than for other commodities. The developments in Brazil, who will account for about 30% of the world market this year, are discussed in detail and reference is made to the considerable subsidies by the Proalcool Program. The criteria of the OECD for the free world trade are critically discussed. There are considerable differences in the sugar prices based on official exchange rates and based on the purchasing power, that should be taken into account. The increase of the Brazilian exports led to a fall of the world market prices. Therefore several countries had to introduce or increase their tariffs on sugar. The social standards in the different countries should be included into the negotiations. The share of sugar in the cost of living and in the expenses for processed foods has decreased constantly and therefore the importance of the sugar price has diminished for the consumer. The previous system of the WTO of minimum access for developing countries is to be continued.

Year: 2000
Volume: 125
No.: 3
Page: 189-195

Language: en

pdf download: 2000-189-195.pdf