CAPE TOWN – Sugar import duty increases were triggered again last week after a falling London sugar price increased the protection for local sugar producers by 18 percent.
Import duty increases on sugar are often followed by consumer price increases for sugar.
Sugar Importers Association of South Africa director Chris Engelbrecht said in an interview that the duty increase was triggered in terms of a formula administered by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac).
The world sugar price in London had fallen to below $311 (R4 747.50) per ton, and in terms of the protection formula for South African producers, the import duty for sugar in this country increased to R4 768 per ton, from R4 018 per ton. The price traded between $311-$315 per ton in London yesterday.
Engelbrecht said many countries had import protection tariffs in place for sugar. But South Africa was the only one that he knew of where the producers were effectively using the tariff to charge consumers double the world price of sugar, and in most other countries, the retail price of it was close to the world price.