* China signs deals Friday to buy 8.45 mln T US soybeans
* Two-day total sales agreement for 11.56 mln T, $6.68 bln
* Friday agreement largest ever for a single day (Adds details)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A Chinese trade delegation on Friday signed agreements to buy 8.45 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans, valued at about $4.8 billion, in China’s largest single-day U.S. soy purchase agreement ever, a spokesman from the U.S. Soybean Export Council said.
It was the second round of purchases announced during a two-day visit to Chicago by a group of Chinese businessmen and officials as part of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States.
Over two days, Chinese buyers including COFCO and Sinograin signed deals worth $6.68 billion with U.S. grain companies such as Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) and Bunge Ltd (BG.N) and international suppliers like Louis Dreyfus Co.
The delegation signed 21 contracts to buy a total of 11.52 million tonnes (423 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans, or nearly half of the volume of U.S. soybeans China imported last year.
The amount of soybeans was far larger than expected by traders and may support Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures Sc1 when markets reopen on Monday. (Reporting by Karl Plume and Julie Ingwersen)