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Australian flooding could harm food and energy market

As intense flooding continues to snarl through Queensland, Australia, analysts are predicting that the toll of the natural disaster would soon make its mark on food and energy prices.

According to the New York Times, IHS Global Insight announced on Wednesday that Australia would lose .02 percent of its gross domestic product in 2011 due to the flooding, which has closed off the mines normally used for obtaining coal, Queensland's largest export.

The news source reports that the flooding has already impacted the prices of coal, cotton, wheat and sugar in the Asian-Pacific regions.

Additionally, the USDA estimates that roughly 1.5 million tons of the country's wheat exports were damaged, though the impact has so far been contained to only part of the country's total supply. The flooded wheat results in a lower quality product that can only be used as animal feed.

Overall, the USDA estimates that Australia's total production will go down by .5 million tons compared to last month's figures, making a total of 13.5 million tons, the news source reports.
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