(Adds comments from Brazil's Agriculture minister, Argentine
SAO PAULO Feb 6 The status of sugar in the
Mercosur trade bloc is likely to be discussed by the presidents
of Brazil and Argentina when they meet on Tuesday, Brazil's
Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Monday.
Sugar is not included on the list of goods and products
subject to free trade within Mercosur, the South American bloc
that includes Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela.
Argentine farmers fear a deluge of cheaper Brazilian sugar
in the country if current levies are withdrawn.
Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil and Mauricio Macri of
Argentina will meet in Brasilia as part of an official visit by
the Argentine leader.
"We assured them (Argentina) that we are not going to dump
our sugar in their market," Maggi told reporters during a
meeting with industrial leaders in Sao Paulo.
Brazil is the world's largest producer and exporter of sugar
and arguably the most competitive one, thanks to favorable
conditions for cane cultivation and a large sugar producing
Sugar was never a product on the list of products that can
be imported and exported between countries free of taxes and
tariffs within Mercosur and Argentine sugar producers do not
expect changes in the current status of the sweetener in the
"It might be that Brazilian officials present a request (for
the product's inclusion). But we do not expect any changes,"
said Enrique Nogues, head of Argentina's sugar industry
association Centro Azucarero.
Argentina's Agriculture Ministry said Brazil could raise the
issue in the talks between Temer and Macri, however.
Brazil's Maggi said on Monday that Brazil would try to
include sugar in negotiations between Mercosur and the European
(Reporting by Gustavo Bonato, in Sao Paulo; Luc Cohen and
Eliana Raszewski, in Buenos Aires; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira;
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)