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Sugar prices reach 30-year high

Sugar futures surged to a 30-year high on mounting concern that global supplies will trail demand following crop damage in Australia and India, two of the world's leading producers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald citing a Bloomberg report.

Storms brought about by Cyclone Yasi in Queensland may cause crop losses of as much as $50O million, a grower group said. Output from India may be less than predicted after heavy rains, a producer organisation said. Prices have more than doubled since the end of June.

Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 1.23 cents, or 3.6%, to 35.19 US cents on Wednesday on ICE Futures US in New York. Earlier, the price reached 36.08 US cents, the highest for a most-active contract since November 1980.

In London, refined-sugar futures for March delivery rose $US31, or 3.8 per cent, to $US850.20 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe. Earlier, the price reached $US857, the highest since at least January 1989. Yasi is the first category 5 cyclone to hit Queensland since 1918.

Prices of corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, livestock, coffee and cocoa have rallied this year, spurring governments to boost inventories as food inflation accelerates from China to Egypt. Adverse weather in the past 12 months slashed crops from Russia to Canada.

-- Source: Sydney Morning Herald