China Is Said to Snap Up U.S. Soybeans a Day After Trade Talks

(Bloomberg) -- China is back buying American soybeans a day after U.S. and Chinese officials met for trade talks, said people familiar with the matter.

State-run buyer Sinograin and top food company Cofco Corp. bought at least 1 million metric tons Friday, said the people, who asked not to be named because the transactions are private. The soybeans are for shipment in the April-July period and will be loaded at ports both in the U.S. Gulf and the Pacific Northwest, the people said.

The purchases come a day after President Donald Trump said China, the top soybean importer, had agreed to buy 5 million tons of U.S. supplies following talks in Washington. That’s on top of the estimated 5 million bought in the weeks after Trump met with his counterpart Xi Jinping in December.

Soybean futures in Chicago were up 0.3 percent at 1:17 p.m. after gaining as much as 1.7 percent.

Concern about a smaller crop in Brazil “may have panicked China a little bit,” and hastened their buying of U.S. supplies, said Mike Blackford, a consultant at INTL FCStone in Des Moines, Iowa.

Friday’s transactions come ahead of China’s Luna New Year holidays next week, when the state-run buyers are expected to be absent from the market, the people said. China has been buying U.S. soybeans as a sign of goodwill while trade delegations try to sort out wider problems such as intellectual property.

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