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Australia suffers drought

SYDNEY (Reuters) — Australia’s wheat crop is on course to be closer to 20 million tonnes than the offical June forecast of 24 million as dry weather crimps yields in the world’s fourth-largest exporter.

“The market is beginning to factor in a crop of between 19 million to 21 million tonnes,” said Matthew Pattison, a manager at grain trader Nidera.

East and west coast regions — Australia’s largest wheat producing areas — have had less than half the rainfall typical for the April 1 to June 30 quarter, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.

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