(Reuters) – Private exporters sold 464,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for shipment in the 2019/20 marketing year that began Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Wednesday, the latest in a flurry of purchases by the world’s top soy importer.
The USDA announcement was expected after sources on Monday said that Chinese buyers had booked up to 600,000 tonnes in purchases for shipment from November to January as part of a tariff-free quota awarded to some importers.
The purchases come ahead of high-level U.S.-China trade talks, due to start next week, aimed at ending a nearly 15-month trade war that has slashed U.S. agricultural exports and rattled global markets.
China has bought more than 2.1 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans since resuming purchases in early September, according to USDA data.
Total U.S. soybean sales to China, however, remain well below normal as importers have sourced the majority of their soybeans from South America since the trade war with the United States erupted last year.