Export/Audio Mixdown is INCREASING Tempo?!?!

I’ve owned Cubase for 17 years and this has never happened.

I am using Cubase Pro 10. Just this week, when I go to File/Export/Audio Mixdown to generate a .wav of my song, the file it generates has increased in speed and pitch. I must have done something to change a setting, but for the life of me I don’t know what.

I am attaching two photographs to display this. I am including all my settings for Audio Export. Also, a photo that shows the difference in length/time of the audio file when rendered. I laid down a simple hi-hat track to demonstrate this. The original midi track is in YELLOW. The GREEN track shows the audio file when I use “Render in Place” - which still works perfectly. However, the RED track shows the audio file when I have used File/Export/Audio Mixdown. Note that the length has decreased from 18 seconds to 16.5 seconds, the pitch has gone up, and the tempo has gone from 120bpm to approximately 118 bpm.

This is a real head-scratcher for me.

I am using Windows 10, the latest service pack. I have 64gig Ram, AMD Ryzen 7 3700x 8 core/16 thread 3.6 Ghz Processor.

Any help or suggestions would be very appreciated!

Sounds like a sample rate mismatch to me.
Do you hear the increased speed and pitch only when you import it back into Cubase, or also if you play the mixdown file on any player?
Maybe you’re exporting at a different sample rate from the project’s, and not converting it back when importing it.