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Global sugar surplus forecast for 2018/19 revised down: ISO

A labourer unloads sacks of sugar from a truck at a wholesale food market in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - The global sugar surplus is expected to be 641,000 tonnes in the 2018/19 season, down from a previous forecast of 2.17 million, the International Sugar Organization (ISO) said on Thursday.

The inter-governmental body said the smaller surplus was mainly due to a downward revision in production forecasts for Brazil and the European Union, although the forecast for Thailand’s output was revised up.

Global production in 2018/19 was seen at 178.68 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of 180.49 million tonnes.

The ISO said production forecast for Brazil had been revised down by 1.35 million tonnes and the European Union’s forecast was lowered by 800,000 tonnes. Thailand’s projection was raised by 800,000 tonnes.

India’s forecast was unchanged at 32.0 million tonnes but the ISO said that “if our forecast proves over-optimistic, a reduction in India’s actual output may have significant consequences for the global picture.”

Global consumption was seen at 178.04 million tonnes in 2018/19, a rise of 1.63 percent from the prior season, marginally below the 10-year average of 1.67 percent.

The ISO said its assessment pointed to a well-balanced supply and demand although stocks remain high.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair