MoIT to auction duty quota for sugar import

By the end of June 2006, Vietnam had imported 91,019 tonnes of sugar. Meanwhile, all 34 sugar mills have so far produced more than 900,000 tonnes of sugar, excluding 150,000 tonnes produced by private households. The total supply has obviously met local consumption demand, according to experts. As a result, the Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association proposed that the Government stop importing an additional 150,000 tonnes from now till the end of the year. Earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Trade (MoT) proposed that the Government import as much as 300,000 tonnes of sugar to “stabilise the domestic market”, reasoning that demand outstripped supply. However, by the end of June which marked the end of the 2005-2006 sugarcane harvest, sugar producers complained that there were large volumes in stock and they could face losses due to the illegal import of sugar at lower prices. Therefore, the association proposed a halt in sugar imports to stablise market prices and protect domestic production. With the MARD proposal, people thought it unnecessary to import other commodities when domestic enterprises can already fulfil consumption demand.The import of any commodities badly impacts domestic production and causes fluctuations in market prices. Consequently, local-made products have to compete with foreign products in terms of the quality, patterns and prices. And those who work in import-export activities will unfairly capitalise on the situation. Vietnam is an agricultural country, and sugarcane is plentiful for the sugar processing industry. All this stage on…... [read more]

The sugar “fever” of 2008 is supposed to recur as sugar reserves are dropping to a low level while imports are in a fix on account of rising sugar prices in the world. Resuming sugar imports? By the middle of July mills in the country had produced nearly 1.15 million tonnes of sugar, including 1.05 million tonnes for domestic consumption and 100,000 tonnes for export to China in March. Hence only 300,000 tonnes of sugar have remained in stock, far too short of meeting the growing consumer demand. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Sugar Association (VSA) have agreed to raise the quota on sugar imports to around 250,000 tonnes, but businesses could only have imported 93,000 tonnes by far. The tax paid price of white sugar delivered from mills is VND18,300-18,500 per kilo while the price of sugar exported to China has dropped from VND21,000 to VN19,000 per kilo. Tran Thi Mieng, Deputy Director of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, says with the level of supply at the moment estimated at 450,000 tonnes a “fever” might appear in October or November. Mieng proposes that the government allow businesses to continue importing sugar in order to prevent speculative activity. Unreasonable regulation However, as the price of sugar on the world market has hit a record high, many businesses have to stay put. For instance, refined sugar on the London Trading Floor on July…... [read more]

In case the price of sugar keeps increasing in the last months of 2012, the MARD will work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to discuss quotas on sugar imports in line with Vietnam’s commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This year, the MoIT has allowed businesses to import 250,000 tones of sugar to meet the domestic demand. In fact, Vietnam produced 1.14 million tones of sugar in the 2010-2011 sugar cane crop, up 26 percent compared to the previous crop, thus basically meeting the domestic demand for sugar. That’s why the MoIT recently cancelled the import of nearly 130,000 tones of sugar in a bulk order for 250,000 tones this year.... [read more]

The VSSA asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to postpone the application of 0 percent import taxes until 2020 instead of being scheduled for 2015. VSSA Secretary General Nguyen Hai said removing sugar import tariffs will place unreasonable burdens on Vietnam’s domestic sugar and sugarcane industry. The strategic sector would struggle to compete on overseas markets and even risk losing its domestic market share. Hai suggested delaying the 0 percent tax rate imposition until 2018 or 2020 would give local sugar producers a chance to improve their competitiveness. “VSSA members are encouraged to take the initiative to raise the productivity and quality of their crops independently,” Hai said. Le Van Tam, a farmer in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang’s Phung Hiep district, said his household had large sugarcane plantations but earned a part of VND7 million (US$340) from his VND7 million investment in 2012–2013. According to recent VSSA statistics, sugar inventory levels in the country already exceeded 236,000 tonnes by September 2013. The problem of excess stock was in part exacerbated by the smuggling of sugar from Thailand and Cambodia. VSSA Chairman Nguyen Thanh Long said the industry cannot cope with a reduction of import tariffs from their present 5–10 percent levels. One reason he pointed out is that Thai firms buy input materials at a very low price: VND6,000–7,000 per kilo, while Vietnamese producers pay 150 percent higher - around VND10,000 per kilo. The domestic sugar industry finds it impossible to compete against smuggled…... [read more]

Once the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which aims at establishing the region as a single market by 2015, becomes effective, Vietnamese sugar producers are facing stiff regional competition. The problems are only going to be compounded by the entry of leading worldwide sugar producers from the EU and US into the domestic market upon the signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pacts. Based on ATIGA, most duties on all products will be abolished by 2015 with some limited flexibility to protect up to 7% of tariff line products through 2018. Accordingly, some Vietnamese products, including sugarcane may be allowed to maintain a tariff of 5% after 2015 and through 2018. At a recent meeting between the Ministry of Finance and the Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association (VSSA), a propose was made to boost the import duty of sugar to 15%, if imports cause difficulties for domestic sugar production. VSSA Vice President Do Thanh Liem brought up the fact that imported sugar in line with WTO and ATIGA commitments very well may also face tough competition from illegally smuggled sugar imports. Imported sugar must bear the cost of the tariffs, Value Added Tax (VAT) and business income tax, which collectively serve to increase the ultimate sales price to the consumer. In contrast, smuggled sugar doesn’t have to bear these costs and can be sold on the black market at a much lower price. Faced with the challenge of rigid competition from foreign imports…... [read more]

>> Disappointing export figures after AEC comes into effect Surging imports of agricultural products After one year since joining the AEC, Vietnam’s farming sector has not only failed to prosper but even slumped. Meanwhile Vietnam’s agricultural imports from ASEAN have increased continually, with value increasing by 20.2% in the first eleven months of 2015 to over US$1.4 billion, of which fruit and vegetables rose by 84.9% and seafood by 52.2%. Thailand’s fruit exports to Vietnam soared by 88%. Such a large discrepancy between Vietnam’s exports and imports could be attributed partly to high demand for imported fruit at home and partly to the fact that a large range of imported fruits are considered to be of higher quality than domestic ones, especially when many of Vietnam’s agricultural products are laden with food safety issues. Imported fruit is easy to find at supermarkets in major cities while small shops selling imported fruit have also sprouted up recently. Nguyen Thi Hoa, a resident of Hanoi, says if she has to choose between Vietnamese and Thai fruit, she will definitely pick Thai fruit as even though its prices are a little higher, she can be assured of its high quality and guaranteed safety. Not only consumers but researchers and agricultural policy advisors also affirm that Vietnam could easily become a concave to be flooded by imports because Vietnam’s export structure is similar to that of ASEAN while the competitiveness of many of its products is much lower. Dr Dang Kim Khoi from the…... [read more]

Sugar industry mired in troubles, awaiting help Trung Chanh and Pham Thai By Trung Chanh and Pham Thai - The Saigon Times Daily CAN THO/ HCMC – While the Prime Minister has not replied to a proposal by the Vietnam Sugar Association for rescuing the local sugar industry, the industry players are further mired in troubles with declining prices. Sugar mills longing for help It is forecast that 1.5 million tons of sugar will be produced in the 2012-2013 crop, plus the amount imported under the commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the unsold volume. Nguyen Hai, general secretary of the Vietnam Sugar Association, said the sugar industry was coping with oversupply, resulting in price freefall in the domestic market. “If these problems were not timely resolved, the sugar industry of Vietnam including farmers and enterprises could not survive,” he said. In late November, the sugar association sent a petition to the Prime Minister, seeking solutions for several problems in sugar production and consumption. Specifically, the association called for the Government to strengthen the fight against sugar smuggling. In addition, sugar should be included in the list of goods banned or suspended from temporary import for re-export. The association also sought permission to export sugar. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will likely approve export of 300,000 tons of sugar in the coming time, Hai said. In addition, the association proposed the Government eliminate all policies related to sugar import, such as sugar import tax cut under Circular…... [read more]

HCM City (VNA) - Sugar producers, distributors and consumers discussed production and consumption in 2015-16 and forecasts for the next season at a recent seminar in HCM City. Pham Quoc Doanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association, said sugar output in the 2015-16 crop was 1.23 million tonnes, a year-on-year fall of 12.7 percent. Together with 185,000 tonnes of imports, this fully met domestic demand that had been forecast by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, he said. Prices would not fluctuate much from now through the Lunar New Year on January 28, he said. Many sugar mills had signed long-term contracts with beverage production companies and fulfilled them. But in general there is still no common voice between producers and traders and the companies they supply in terms of prices, he said. Sugar prices depend much on sugarcane prices and global sugar prices, but with production done over six months to supply for the whole year, output and prices are often volatile, he said. Sugar traders and food and beverage producers abhor this volatility, he said. Representatives of Coca-Cola Vietnam and Tan Hiep Phat said the association and sugar plants should ensure steady prices. They also said the sugar producers should invest more in packaging, saying the packing should be done in bigger bags instead of the current 50kg bags to reduce loading and unloading costs. Nguyen Thi Thu Sa, General Director of Thanh Thanh Cong Trading JSC, said sugar quality has improved significantly. "Our RE (refined…... [read more]

Viet Nam News HCM CITY - Sugar producers, distributors and consumers discussed production and consumption in 2015-16 and forecasts for the next season at a seminar in HCM City yesterday. Phạm Quốc Doanh, chairman of the Việt Nam Sugarcane and Sugar Association, said sugar output in the 2015-16 crop was 1.23 million tonnes, a year-on-year fall of 12.7 per cent. Together with 185,000 tonnes of imports, this fully met domestic demand that had been forecast by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, he said. Prices would not fluctuate much from now through the Lunar New Year on January 28, he said. Many sugar mills had signed long-term contracts with beverage production companies and fulfilled them. But in general there is still no common voice between producers and traders and the companies they supply in terms of prices, he said. Sugar prices depend much on sugarcane prices and global sugar prices, but with production done over six months to supply for the whole year, output and prices are often volatile, he said. Sugar traders and food and beverage producers abhor this volatility, he said. Representatives of Coca-Cola Việt Nam and Tân Hiệp Phát said the association and sugar plants should ensure steady prices. They also said the sugar producers should invest more in packaging, saying the packing should be done in bigger bags instead of the current 50kg bags to reduce loading and unloading costs. Nguyễn Thị Thu Sa, general director of Thành Thành Công Trading JSC, said sugar quality has…... [read more]

Together with 185,000 tonnes of imports, this fully met domestic demand that had been forecast by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, he said. Prices would not fluctuate much from now through the Lunar New Year on January 28, he said. Many sugar mills had signed long-term contracts with beverage production companies and fulfilled them. But in general there is still no common voice between producers and traders and the companies they supply in terms of prices, he said. Sugar prices depend much on sugarcane prices and global sugar prices, but with production done over six months to supply for the whole year, output and prices are often volatile, he said. Sugar traders and food and beverage producers abhor this volatility, he said. Representatives of Coca-Cola Vietnam and Tan Hiep Phat said the association and sugar plants should ensure steady prices. They also said the sugar producers should invest more in packaging, saying the packing should be done in bigger bags instead of the current 50kg bags to reduce loading and unloading costs. Nguyen Thi Thu Sa, general director of Thanh Thanh Cong Trading JSC, said sugar quality has improved significantly. “Our RE (refined extra) already met quality standards, the newly produced RS (refined standards) sugar is very good, but by the end of the season the latter’s colour and moisture change much. Sugar producers must work to improve this.” She and several others said they should also work out clear plans to ensure steady supply whether prices are rising…... [read more]




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