The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported this week that Chinese importers purchased more soybeans from the United States and recorded their largest daily buy of US corn in almost a month. The acquisitions took place as both Washington and Beijing reaffirmed their commitment to the Phase 1 of the bilateral trade agreement.
In a daily report on exports, the USDA said that the Chinese traders bought 408,000 tons of corn and 204,000 tons of soy from the United States, both for shipment in the 2020/21 business year, which begins on September 1. Corn sales have been the biggest since July 30, when nearly 2 million tons were announced as having been exported to China.
Sales to China have occurred after US and Chinese top trade officials said they remained committed to the trade agreement signed in January that provides for a significant increase in Chinese imports of American agricultural produce.
However, Chinese purchases remain well below the pace needed to meet the first-year target of US$36.5 billion specified in the agreement, according to official data, even after the latest increase in purchases.
The United States exported just US$7.274 billion in agricultural products to China in the first half of the year, according to trade data from the Census Bureau. US soy exports to China typically increase in the fourth quarter of the year, after US crops are harvested and supplies from the other main exporter, Brazil, have declined. It is worth noting that Chinese soy imports from Brazil jumped 27% in July compared to last year.