China Will Purchase U.S. Soy as Officials Meet For Trade Talks

Soy harvest near the town of Campos Lindos, Brazil
China will reportedly recommence buying soybeans from the United States, people familiar with the decision revealed. (Photo: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino)

China made is third largest soybean purchase within the pasts month on Monday as delegates from the United States and their Chinese counterparts convenes to discuss trade policies in Beijing. It is the two nation's first face-to-face talks since they agreed to a 90-day trade war truce on December 1.

Traders said that, on Monday, Chinese-state owned firms imported at least three cargos, or about 180,000 tonnes, of soybeans. One of the traders claimed that the total purchase is closer to 15 cargos or around 900,000 tonnes. The trades also said that the soybeans will be shipped from January to March from terminals in the Pacific Northwest. According to them, some of the cargos will pass through the U.S. Gulf Coast terminals.

China is the leading buyer of U.S. soybean. China's import of the agricultural product plummeted recently due to the trade dispute with the United States. The halt in import caused the supply to flood and the prices to significantly drop. It turned into s struggle for farmers to turn their soybeans to profit.

The Asian economic giants 2018 import of around 5 million tonnes is just a fraction of its normal purchase before the tariffs were imposed. Record of the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that purchased around 23 million tonnes of U.S. soy last year.

The opportunity to sell U.S. soy to China is about to end as farmers from the world's top soy supplier, Brazil, started harvesting their latest crop for export.

Last year, U.S. president Donald Trump imposed hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods and threatened to impose more in the aim of pressuring Beijing to change its trade practices. In response to the United States actions, China also imposed their own tariffs to American products including 25 percent duties to shipments of U.S. soybeans.

This week, the delegates of the two economic giants meet in Beijing to deliberate each other's trade policy concerns. China's Foreign Ministry highlighted the country's willingness to resolve the trade frictions with the western nation.

According to records, 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports annually are imports from China and the majority of the purchases are made during the last three months of the year.

Other agricultural products producers in the United States are also waiting for possibilities to export to China. The U.S. government, however, suspended all deals due to a partial U.S. government shutdown.

On Monday, the benchmark for U.S. soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade increased for four consecutive sessions.

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