USDA has increased the Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ) of domestic sugar for the 2016 fiscal year. The government agency says it also reassigned some of the projected surplus sugar marketing allotments among processors and reassigned part of the surplus cane sugar marketing allotment to raw cane sugar imports.

Based on world projections, USDA says it took this action as required by the Farm Bill in order to maintain an adequate sugar supply in an uncertain market. “This uncertainty is in part due to inaction on GE labeling legislation and lack of consumer information about genetic technology,” USDA says.

USDA has reassigned 500,000 STRV (short tons raw value) cane sector domestic supply shortfall to imports. Of that, 300,000 STRV is reassigned to imports already expected to enter the United States; 140,000 STRV to an increase in the US raw sugar tariff-rate quota from WTO quota holders; and 60,000 STRV to sugar expected to be imported from Mexico pending the approval of the Department of Commerce.

The overall fiscal 2016 US raw sugar tariff-rate quota is now 1,371,497 STRV. The Office of the US Trade Representative will allocate this increase among supplying countries. Raw cane sugar under this tariff-rate quota must be accompanied by a certificate for quota eligibility and may be entered by September 30, 2016.

USDA has requested that the U.S. Department of Commerce increase the FY 2016 Export Limit for Mexico by 60,000 STRV, under the provisions of the Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar from Mexico. To ensure that this is the type of sugar for which there is an increasing demand in the US market, and which also requires further processing, this additional sugar must have a polarity of less than 99.2 degrees.