From May 15 Russia will levy a 25 percent tariff on sugar imports from the CIS. (Interfax, May 15) The tariff, which does not apply to members of the Customs Union, will mainly affect Ukraine, which sold 1.3 million tons of sugar to Russia in 1996, worth about $700 million. One third of Russia’s 4.5 million ton sugar consumption was met with imports last year, causing most of the country’s 96 sugar factories to lay off their 54,000 workers for half the year. Ukrainian sugar is one third cheaper than that produced in Russia. The new tariff will push up the retail price of sugar by at least 10 percent.
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