UPDATE 3-U.S. slaps duties on Mexican sugar imports, may push up prices

martes 26 de agosto de 2014 14:07 GYT

(Updates with U.S. decision, background)

By Adriana Barrera

MEXICO CITY Aug 26 (Reuters) - The United States will slap anti-subsidy import duties on Mexican sugar, sources said on Tuesday, a move that could push up candy and soft drink prices for U.S. consumers and incite retaliation from Mexico on other products.

The duties, if confirmed, will bolster prices for U.S. sugar but mean companies like candy makers Hershey Co and Mondelez International Inc will have to pay more for imported sweetener.

The preliminary decision to slap duties on sugar imports from Mexico, which could still be overturned, is backed by U.S. sugar industry complaints of unfair competition from subsidized sweeteners in the industry's first trade case in decades.

Sources told Reuters the duties were as much as 17.01 percent.

The preliminary determination means the U.S. Department of Commerce found Mexican imports benefited from government support.

U.S. sugar producers have claimed cheap imports from Mexico are causing nearly $1 billion in damages in the local market.

Juan Cortina, president of the Mexican sugar chamber, said the Mexican sugar industry is prepared to agree to a deal that limits sugar exports to the United States, but said any agreement would have to fix an export minimum of at least 1 million tonnes per cycle.   Continuación...