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Chinese importers reportedly buy US soy cargoes

Key Points
  • Chinese state-owned companies bought at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans on Wednesday, two U.S. traders said.
  • China is the largest buyer of U.S. soy, but has purchased little since Beijing slapped steep tariffs on U.S. shipments on July 6 in retaliation for duties on Chinese goods.
A trailer is filled with soybeans at a farm in Buda, Illinois, July 6, 2018. 
Daniel Acker | Reuters

Chinese state-owned companies bought at least 500,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans on Wednesday, two U.S. traders said, in the first major purchases since U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in early December.

One trader knew of nine cargoes traded and said there were probably more. A second trader with direct knowledge of the deals said Chinese state-owned firms bought at least 12 cargoes for shipment between January and March.

China is the largest buyer of U.S. soy, but has purchased little since Beijing slapped steep tariffs on U.S. shipments on July 6 in retaliation for duties on Chinese goods.

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Key Points
  • China and the U.S. held high level talks on trade but any deal still seems months away and there is expected to be more sparring as the  U.S. attempts to hammer out thornier issues on cyber-espionage and intellectual property.
  • About half of the stock market's decline recently was due to the trade conflicts, one economist said.
  • The talks had some positive outcomes, like lowered tariffs on U.S. cars, but the market focus will also continue to be on other developments like the arrest of a high-profile Chinese executive.