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Sugar exports to US up 45%

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Malawi’s sugar export quota to the United States (US) has risen by 45 percent from 10,530 metric tonnes raw value, the US Embassy has said.

Malawi has received 1,327 metric tonnes raw value in re-allocation and 2,622 metric tonnes raw value in increased allocation, for a total of 4,728 metric tonnes raw value additional for 2017.

US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, announced this at the beginning of the week.

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The boost is in line with recent adjustments of country-specific reallocations and additional volume allocations of the 2017 fiscal year’s World Trade Organisation Tariff-Rate Quota (TRQ) for imported raw cane sugar announced by the US Trade Representative.

TRQs allow countries to export specified quantities of a product to the United States, at a relatively low tariff.

Figures from the US Embassy show that in 2016 alone, Malawi exported $10.7 million worth of sugar to the US, an increase of 25 percent from 2015.

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This year’s quota increase could, therefore, mean an additional $4 million worth of Malawian sugar exports to the US.

Since 2013, sugar exports from Malawi to the United States have more than tripled, accounting for 14 percent of Malawi’s total exports there.

In a statement, Palmer then reiterated Washington’s commitment towards further improving trade ties with Lilongwe.

“The United States remains committed to increasing trade between the United States and Malawi,” said Palmer in a statement.

Reacting, Illovo Sugar Malawi Board Chairman, Gavin Dalgleish, welcomed the development, saying it will help absorb more of the country’s sugar in the aftermath of a shrink in the EU market.

“That’s good news for us. Though the US is not one of our biggest markets, but it will help to take up some of our sugar,” Dalgleish said.

Meanwhile, figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show that sugar production during the month of June 2017 amounted to 42.4 million kilogrammes.

The volume of sugar sales during the reviewed month was 16.7 million kilogrammes, with domestic sales earnings amounting to K10.9 billion while export sales amounted to 4.3 million kilogrammes.

Sugar is Malawi’s third largest export to the United States, following tobacco and tea.

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