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Sugar Crop in Australia Seen Suffering Minimal Flooding Damage

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Sugar production in Australia, the world’s third-biggest exporter, will not be significantly affected even as some areas sustained damage from floods caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, according to a producers’ group.

Some crops in the Bundaberg, Maryborough and Childers areas in Queensland state may have been damaged, Canegrowers Chief Executive Officer Steve Greenwood said in an e-mailed statement today. Other regions are reporting the rain provided much-needed moisture for this year’s crop, he said.

Australia harvested about 30 million metric tons of cane in 2012 as production rebounded from cyclone damage and wet weather that had curbed output for two seasons, according to the Brisbane-based group. The 2013 harvest may total as much as 32 million tons, it said Dec. 20. Raw sugar exports may gain 12 percent in the year started July 1, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimates.

“Early indications suggest that even though individual areas and farms have been ravaged, Australia’s production overall is not expected to be significantly downgraded,” said Greenwood. “With the flood waters still up, it is still too early to determine the full extent of the damage.” Canegrowers represents about 80 percent of the Australia’s growers.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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