Chinese importers have been busy booking fresh purchases of soybeans from Brazil this week, despite the White House announcement that China had agreed to buy up to $50 billion of US farm products annually during trade talks last week.
The purchases from Brazil, rather than the United States, show that China is in no hurry to buy U.S. products in the wake of last week’s phase one trade agreement that U.S. President Donald Trump hopes will be signed next month.
While Brazil is China’s largest soybean supplier, large purchases from South America are unusual at this time of year with the U.S. harvest coming in.
Since Monday, two traders said, China has booked at least eight boatloads, or 480,000 tonnes worth $173 million, of Brazilian soybeans.
Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that China has already begun making U.S. agricultural purchases. But three U.S. soybean exporters said there have been no U.S. sales to China since last week’s talks in Washington, and none have been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I’ve not had any inquiries at all for U.S. (shipments),” said one of the U.S. soybean exporters. “There were a few November boats bought from Brazil and several new-crop South American boats for March forward but nothing here.”