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Queensland Sugar Cuts Export Forecast on Wet Weather

Queensland Sugar Ltd. cut its export forecast as above-average rainfall reduces production in Australia, the third-largest exporter.

Shipments may drop to 2.2 million metric tons, Neil Taylor, chief executive officer of the Brisbane-based company, said in a statement today. That compares with a forecast earlier this year of 2.9 million to 3 million tons.

Raw sugar in New York has more than doubled in the past seven months, reaching a 29-year high amid concern that adverse weather will curb production in Brazil, the world’s largest shipper, and India. Heavy rainfall in Australia this year has hampered harvesting and curbed planting for next season, producers group Canegrowers said last month.

Queensland Sugar, which handles more than 90 percent of Australia’s exports, was still receiving supplies and all commitments to international customers would be met, Taylor said in the statement today.

Raw sugar for March delivery on ICE Futures U.S. in New York rose 3.7 percent to 29.5 cents per pound on Dec. 3. The contract reached 33.39 cents a pound on Nov. 11, the highest price since 1981.

Sugar supplies globally will exceed demand by 1.3 million tons for the 2010-2011 crop, less than half a previous estimate, the London-based International Sugar Organization said in a report on Nov. 17. Output is likely to increase to a record 169 million tons, 1.4 million tons lower than an August forecast.

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