China buys 10 US soybean cargoes amid quota talk ahead of Dec 15 tariff deadline
US soybean trades into China surged late Monday amid market talk that the Chinese government had released a fresh round of import quotas for US soybeans as a gesture of goodwill ahead of the December 15 deadline for increased US tariffs on Chinese goods, market sources said Tuesday.
Around 10 soybeans cargoes were booked late Monday to arrive in China over December-February; six to eight from the US Pacific Northwest and at least two from the US Gulf, market sources said.
They said the purported quota allocation was for 1 million-1.5 million mt of US soybeans, and interpreted the move as a Chinese government gesture of goodwill ahead of the December 15 deadline.
The allocation could not be immediately confirmed with the Chinese government, but official statements on quota matters typically trail reaction in the market.
Chinese soybeans crushers have been buying December-April soybeans shipments since early November, primarily from Brazil, and market participants said the burst of US soybean buying was expected to result in most crushers completing their January-February purchasing in the near term.
The competitive price of US soybeans added to buying interest in the wake of the quota talk, as prices are currently cheaper than from competing supplier Brazil.
“We have seen January shipment US Gulf cargoes traded around 184-188F, while Brazilian January soybeans offers were above 200F,” a trader said.
China’s soybean imports from the US have been difficult to confirm during the US-China trade tensions, while market participants said around 10-20 cargoes/month were typically imported from Brazil.