Latvia to use less sugar

  • 1998-12-10
RIGA (BNS) - Latvia might reduce sugar beet growing volumes in the future as sugar production technologies in the world are changing.

A recent seminar on the sugar market that took place in London forecast that beet and cane sugar consumption in the world will decline by some 20 percent over the next 25 years, the Latvian Farm Ministry reported.

Beet and cane sugar consumption will decline chiefly because it is more advantageous for soft drink producers to use corn syrup, which is a sugar substitute with a high content of fruit fructose.

Production facilities of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola already have special equipment for using corn syrup in production.

The trend will not affect Latvia for the time being as Latvia has high sugar import tariffs and imported corn syrup would be unable to sqeeze out local sugar. Latvia will have to reduce sugar import tariffs if it joins the EU, however. Latvia may also get a low sugar output quota from the EU as well.

All this will give Latvian companies opportunities to use raw sugar cane in production, which is cheaper than beet sugar, reducing the opportunities for sugar beet farmers in Latvia.