Guatemala joins call for action on India sugar subsidies


Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL) has welcomed Guatemala joining Australia and Brazil to seek World Trade Organisation intervention over India's sugar subsidies.

QSL managing director Greg Beashel spoke out yesterday with partners from the Global Sugar Alliance, which he chairs.

India’s sugar subsidies include domestic support provided by national and state governments and export subsidies.

Mr Beashel said activating the WTO’s first formal dispute resolution process was a serious and important escalation of international efforts to have India reconsider and revise its sugar policies to bring them into line with its commitments.

“Without India’s subsidised surplus sugar production, the world sugar market this year would have been in significant deficit, stocks would be drawn down and sugar prices much stronger,” he said.

“Guatemala’s decision to join the WTO action is very welcome and shows India’s policies are affecting efficient sugar producers around the world.”

Losses are estimated at more than US$3 billion to the worldwide sugar industry in the 2018-19 harvest season.

The Global Sugar Alliance priority is to secure a world in which sugar can be traded freely across regional and global markets.

This means reducing border protection, removing trade distorting domestic supports and eliminating export subsidies.

QSL is a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation serving the interests of growers and millers for the long-term prosperity of the Queensland sugar industry.