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LONDON (Reuters) - The International Sugar Organization (ISO) on Thursday forecast a global sugar deficit of 2.55 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season, with a diminished outlook for consumption reducing the size of an anticipated shortfall.
The inter-governmental body had previously forecast a global sugar deficit of 3.85 million in 2021/22.
The ISO, in a quarterly market outlook, put global consumption in 2021/22 at 173.03 million tonnes, down 1.44 million from its previous projection issued in August, although up 1.2% from the prior season.
"Downward revisions in national consumption totals reported by governments have been reflected in these latest figures, with lower tourism, domestic disturbances, and changing consumption patterns as contributing factors," the ISO said.
Global sugar production in 2021/22 was cut by 185,000 tonnes to 170.47 million tonnes, while stocks at the end of the season were seen at 93.25 million tonnes, down from 96.74 million a year earlier.
"The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed perceptions around global stocks in the last two years. The anticipated closing balance...should confirm a substantial buffer," the ISO said.
"However, the desirability of holding stocks is proving strong, and will likely be a key driver for the remainder of the current 2021/22 cycle.".
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt. Editing by Jane Merriman and Barbara Lewis)