China Back in the Market for American Soy With Trade Talks Planned


 State-run Cofco was said to be asking for American soy prices

 Bulk carrier Spitha en route to China after loading soy at EGT


By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg

January 3, 2019


China is back in the market for U.S. soybeans after taking a holiday break, just as Washington and Beijing plan more trade discussions.


On Wednesday, Cofco Corp., China’s top food company, was asking for prices, according to four traders familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. The inquiries were for February and March delivery, three of the traders said. Futures rose 1.3 percent in Chicago Wednesday and headed for a second day of gains Thursday.


Cofco didn’t make any purchases, according to a person familiar with the matter, and it’s still unclear if state stockpiler Sinograin bought any. Both companies declined to comment. While most traders say they haven’t heard of any sales, Chicago-based consultancy AgResource says state-run buyers probably purchased about 1.5 million metric tons.


“It was a good start to 2019 for the beans,” Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures for ED&F Man Capital Markets Inc. in Chicago, said in an emailed report. “Shorts covered off of talk that China was coming back in to buy U.S. cargoes and forecasts for Brazil went drier.”


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