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UPDATE 1-EU cuts maize import tariff to zero

(Adds European Commission comments)

PARIS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - The European Union cut its duty on maize (corn) imports to zero on Thursday to take account of a rise in U.S. maize prices following a reduced forecast for the 2020/21 U.S. maize harvest, the European Commission said.

The new zero-rated duty is effective as of Thursday and will also apply to rye and sorghum imports.

“The revised tariff (...) is calculated based on the difference between the European reference price and the world benchmark for maize (i.e. the U.S. cif price – cost, insurance and freight included – at the port of Rotterdam),” the Commission said in a statement.

The tariff for maize, sorghum and rye has been updated several times in the past months, starting at the end of April due to a significant drop of the U.S. cif maize price, mainly as a result of the collapse of bioethanol demand in the United States, it said.

U.S. maize prices have rebounded in recent weeks, hitting a six-week high on Tuesday, on concerns over widespread damage from a storm in a key U.S. growing region as well as dry and hot weather, both leading to a cut in the U.S. maize crop forecast. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)

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