Wires

UPDATE 1-China offers tariff-free quota for 10 mln T of U.S. soybean purchases - sources

Hallie Gu and Naveen Thukral

purchases - sources@ (Releads, adds detail and comment)

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, Oct 22 (Reuters) - China on Tuesday offered 10 million tonnes of tariff-free quota to major Chinese and international soybean crushers to import soybeans from the United States, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The quota to import U.S. soybeans was offered to state-owned crushers, privately owned crushers and major international trading houses with crushing plants in China at a meeting called by the state planner, said the sources who were briefed by people that attended.

No one at the state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, answered the phone after business hours.

The meeting comes after U.S President Donald Trump said China had agreed to buy up to $50 billion of U.S. farm products annually during trade talks earlier this month.

However in the week following the talks, China bought at least eight cargoes, or 480,000 tonnes worth $173 million, of Brazilian soybeans and steered clear of the U.S. market, traders told Reuters.

"Chinese buyers have been buying a lot of Brazilian soybeans. The government was sending a message to importers to be mindful of the big picture," said one of the sources, referring to Beijing's desire to show goodwill in the talks.

The Chicago Board of Trade's most-active soybean contract rose 1.15% to $9.44 a bushel by 1241 GMT on hopes China could buy more from the United States.

(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton in Beijing and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by David Evans)