| DAVENPORT, Iowa, Sept 16
DAVENPORT, Iowa, Sept 16 Chinese companies
signed agreements with U.S. agricultural exporters on Monday to
buy 4.83 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans valued at about $2.8
At a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council,
officials from Chinese companies including COFCO, Sinograin, and
Chinatex signed 13 separate agreements with representatives from
Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Columbia Grain and
The soybeans will be shipped in the current marketing year,
which began on Sept. 1, and likely before the next South
American crop begins flooding the market in March, said a trader
at the event.
The letters of intent signed on Monday are not binding sales
contracts but are traditionally honored by established trading
partners such as China and the United States, he said. The value
of the deals was estimated as the final terms will be negotiated
at a later date.
Still, some exporters declared the agreements to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, which are then reported as confirmed
sales per daily reporting rules. Signing ceremonies in 2011 and
2012 triggered confirmations by the USDA of the two largest
single-day U.S. soybean sales on record.
The volume of the purchase agreements signed on Monday is a
fraction of China's annual U.S. soybean demand.
China, the world's top soybean importer, bought more than
21.5 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States last
season and 59.5 million tonnes from all origins. Imports from
all origins this season were forecast by the USDA at 69 million
tonnes, the tenth consecutive annual increase.