Vietnam will import 85,000 tonnes of sugar under a tariff rate quota this year. (Photo: luatthue.info) 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Industry and Trade will establish a council to conduct pilot bidding on the import of 85,000 tonnes of sugar under a tariff rate quota (TRQ) this year.

Businesses and traders considered this good news because they can join the bidding, which facilitates fair competition.

According to a ministry circular on the principles of managing the import tariff quota for sugar this year, bidders would include traders that supply sugar as an input in food manufacturing or traders that supply raw sugar for the production of refined sugar.

The circular is effective from June 29 to December 31.

Under Vietnam’s World Trade Organisation Accession Agreement, Vietnam must establish an annual TRQ for raw and refined sugar (the TRQ covers both products) at a minimum volume. The level is subject to annual increases.

The ministry set a minimum allowed TRQ of 81,000 tonnes last year.

The Government last month approved the import of 100,000 tonnes of sugar, which was expected to help meet demand in the local market and bring down prices.

The prolonged drought has had a great impact on the sugar industry. According to Vietnam Sugar and Sugar Cane Association, this year’s sugar supply would only reach 1.2 million tonnes, a whopping 1.4 million tonnes less than last year, pushing up retail prices.

The price of sugar in June was 16,000-16,600 VND (0.71-0.74 USD) per kilograme in Hanoi, 16,000-16,300 VND in HCM City and 15,900-16,600 VND in the central region, down 200-500 VND per kilogramme compared with that in May.-VNA