Sugar industry welcomes win in WTO case against Indian subsidies


Australia has secured an emphatic World Trade Organisation (WTO) win against India’s price-distorting sugar production supports and export subsidies.

Handing down its report last night, a WTO Panel found that India had export subsidies in place which were prohibited under trading rules and it recommended their removal. The Panel also found that India’s levels of sugarcane price supports had consistently exceeded permitted levels.

Peak Australian sugar industry organisations the Australian Sugar Milling Council (ASMC) and CANEGROWERS have welcomed the Panel’s findings and recommendations.

“India’s subsidies and the export of its surplus sugar have been calculated by Green Pool to have cost Australian cane growers and sugar millers $1 billion in foregone revenue between 2017-18 and 2020-21,” ASMC Director of Policy, Economics and Trade, David Rynne said.

ASMC and CANEGROWERS have called on the Indian Government to embrace and comply with the findings of the Panel.

“The umpire has spoken,” CANEGROWERS Chairman Paul Schembri said. “The WTO Panel hearing this case has unequivocally found in favour of Australia, Brazil and Guatemala.

“I am proud that CANEGROWERS and ASMC, on behalf of all growers and millers in the Australian industry, stood up for a rules-based world trading regime and we have been vindicated.”

“We now call on India, the government and the industry, to work together to comply with the WTO’s rulings and bring its activities back into line with international trade rules,” Mr Rynne said.

ASMC and CANEGROWERS thank the Australian Government, in particular Trade Minister Dan Tehan, for its commitment to a fair and level trading environment and their advocacy on behalf of the sugar industry.  

Further information:
•    World Trade Organisation Reports of the Panels and information about the case
•    AMSC-commissioned Green Pool report Indian Sugar –The Impact of Over-production on Sugar Industry Revenues