EU beet sugar has export potential after quotas dismantled
* EU beet yields have increased strongly
* Gap between EU, Brazil sugar production costs has fallen
By David Brough
PETERBOROUGH, England, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Exports of EU beet sugar, once output quotas are dismantled in 2017, will be feasible due to improved efficiencies in EU production in recent years, industry leaders said on Friday.
EU sugar production quotas will be lifted after Sept. 30, 2017, forcing sugar producers in the European Union to compete freely on the world market. The EU is now a net sugar importer.
With the protection of production quotas, EU beet sugar producers have boosted efficiency via mechanisation, improving yields at a faster rate than cane production in top grower Brazil, Martin Todd, a senior industry consultant, told a one-day seminar organised by NFU Sugar.
"The European sugar industry has done remarkably well in terms of production and farming processes," he said.
"Beet yields have increased incredibly strongly over the past 20 years, and that is strengthening sugar beet's position in crop rotation, and is positive for beet crops in the long term."
Todd added: "The end of quotas will be a good opportunity for the efficient producers in Europe to expand production, and supply the internal market and the world market." Continuación...