Ukrainian sugar imports data mysteries - who's correct? TAXUD or the Ukrainian ministry?

May 3, 2024

There’s an interesting news article on Reuters thatsays the Ukrainian sugar “quota” is already almost used up:

The article says that Taras Vysotskiy, Ukraine's first deputy agriculture minister, told Reuters that his country, which plans to refine 1.8 million metric tons of sugar in 2024, will only be able to export 262,000 tons of sugar to the EU for the whole [calendar] year. "Most likely it looks like that by June 5, before the entry into force of this potential quota decision, this quota is likely to be used and there will be no export (to the EU) until January 1, 2025," Vysotskiy said. He added that Ukraine had already exported 220,000 tons of sugar to the EU this year. The deputy minister said major Ukrainian sugar makers were trying to find new markets for their output, with the Middle East and West Africa potentially attractive destinations.

Ukraine sugar import monitor -

I monitor Ukrainian sugar imports here: using data available here:

According to my calculations based on these Taxud data, the new Ukrainian sugar "quota", due to come into effect on 5 June 2024, will be 215,200 tonnes for calendar 2024 and then 89,700 tonnes (five twelfths) from 1 January until 4 June 2025.

Until the end of March 2024, Ukrainian imports of sugar as per the TAXUD data were just over 100,000 tonnes in calendar 2024. So as per Mr Vysotskiy, Ukraine exported 120,000 tonnes of sugar in April 2024, which seems quite a lot.

But the TAXUD data isn’t being updated as often as it used to be – there were apparently problems with the volumes of data being demanded by users, so the Commission now seems to have throttled the TAXUD data. Moreover, there are probably erroneous data on the Agri-food Data Portal – for example, the EU sugar reported prices for Region 1 in January 2024 (1,332.46 €/t) conflict with the data reported by the monthly Expert Group (837 €/t), producing an unlikely spike in the Agridata graph of this price series.

The TAXUD data are usually updated once a week –although not recently – the last update is about a month old. We’ll have to seewhat these data show in further updates!