Chinese importers sign deal to buy 12.53 mln tonnes of US soybeans

China is world’s biggest buyer of soybeans used mainly in feed industry and the deal is second largest between the two countries

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 3:41am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 3:41am

A delegation of commodity importers from China, the world’s top buyer of soybeans, signed agreements on Thursday to buy 12.53 million tonnes of the US crop, the second largest deal between the two countries, the US Soybean Export Council said.

The previous record was a 13.18 million-tonne agreement signed in 2015. The non-binding deal was signed at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa.

Traders and analysts had been paying closer attention than usual to this year’s deal due to uneven relations between the two countries following US President Donald Trump’s election in November.

The market barely reacted to the news. The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade November soybean futures contract was down 45-1/4 cents to finish trading on Thursday at US$9.75-1/2 per bushel.

The US Agriculture Department expects China to import 93 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/18 marketing year, up from 89 million in 2016/17. Total US soybean exports are pegged at 58.51 million tonnes, up from 55.79 million tonnes a year earlier.

China has become a strong importer of soybeans due to rising consumption of both poultry and livestock, industry analysts said.