China buyers sign deals for U.S. soybeans

USDA expects China to import 86 million tons of soybeans

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A delegation of soybean importers from China signed agreements to buy 5.1 million tons of U.S. soybeans valued at $2.1 billion at a ceremony in Des Moines on Friday, the U.S. Soybean Export Council said during a Facebook Live presentation.

The purchase agreements were signed by seven of the top 10 Chinese soybean buyers, including state-owned COFCO and Sinograin and privately-held Sunshine group. Sellers included large grain traders such as Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.

Shipment details for the deals were not disclosed.

Some of Friday’s purchase agreements between U.S. exporters and buyers from China, the world’s top soybean importer, are expected to be “frame contracts,” with terms to be finalized at a later date.

Still, some of the deals may be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s daily sales reporting system, which requires exporters to disclose deals totaling more than 100,000 tons in a single day. Past signings have triggered large daily sales announcements in the following days.

A similar event in Indianapolis in August led to nearly 4 million tons in purchases valued at $1.8 billion, according to the trade group. Last year’s Des Moines signing ceremony, when deals for 13.18 million tons of soybeans valued at $5.3 billion were announced, led to USDA confirmation of 1.26 million tons in sales over the next two days.

The USDA expects China to import 86 million ton=s of soybeans in the 2016/17 season, including 30 million tons from the United States, the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of the oilseed.

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