Adds details of USDA estimate in paragraph 3, background in paragraphs 4-5

NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters)The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday raised its projection for total U.S. sugar imports, a move that was expected by the market, as the country has been dealing with tight supplies and high domestic prices.

The USDA in its monthly supply and demand report projected U.S. sugar imports at 3.25 million short tonnes (ST) in 2023/24 (Oct-Sept), up from 3.13 million ST seen last month.

The department raised its estimate to 465,000 ST from 275,000 ST for sugar imports entering the country with the highest tariffs, the so-called ‘high tier imports.’

Mexico, the biggest supplier of sugar the U.S. needs to import every year, is expected to ship less in 2023/24.

With the changes, the stocks-to-use ratio, a key indicator of the supply level, rose to 12.8% from 12.4% in November. It is still below the desired level of 13.5% that the USDA considers as adequate for domestic supplies.

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Mark Porter and Richard Chang)

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Source: Nasdaq


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