Reuters - China’s strong return to the U.S. soybean market in recent months has single-handedly lifted U.S. farm exports to the Asian country to new records, and the heavy forward shipping schedule bodes well for the promises outlined in the Phase 1 trade agreement between the two countries.
That agreement suggests China in 2020 will buy and import at least $36.5 billion worth of American agricultural products, an all-time high. Progress was relatively dismal through mid-year, but the narrative has since changed.
The United States in September shipped $3.13 billion worth of agricultural and related products to China, according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.
China's imports of soybeans from Brazil jumped 51.4% in September from a year ago, data showed recently, as cargoes purchased earlier in the year cleared customs.
China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, brought in 7.25 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in September, up from 4.79 million tonnes last year, data from the General Administration of customs showed.
Chinese bean crushers booked large volumes of Brazilian beans earlier in the year on margins lifted by robust demand to feed a domestic pig herd recovering from the impact of an outbreak of African swine fever.
In total, China brought in 9.8 million tonnes of soybeans from all origins for the month of September, up 19% from the previous year.
China brought in 1.17 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States in September, down 32.4% from 1.73 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier, when shipments booked during a truce in the U.S.-China trade dispute arrived.
American cargoes were expected to rise in the fourth quarter, when the U.S. beans dominate the market in their harvest season.
China has stepped up purchases of agricultural products from the United States, including soybeans and corn, partly to fulfill commitments made during the trade deal the two countries signed in January this year.