Russia's Sugar Producers' Union expects raw sugar imports in 2014/2015 to reach 500,000-550,000 tons, its chairman, Andrei Bodin, said Friday.
Russia, once the world's top raw sugar importer, has boosted production and become more self-sufficient in recent years but imports are still important for balancing the market. The weaker ruble makes it more expensive to import sugar as prices are denominated in foreign currency.
Domestic acreage under sugar beet may decline this spring because farmers are expected to suffer from sky-rocketing costs, Bodin said.
Russia imported about 530,000 tons of raw sugar in 2013 and 557,500 tons in the first 11 months of 2014.
The 2014/2015 sugar year runs from Aug. 1, 2014.