ANKARA, TURKEY — A private Chinese company purchased 68,000 tonnes of soybeans from the United States in the week ended July 25, the first soybean purchase since China offered to exempt five crushers from import tariffs imposed more than a year ago, Reuters reported.
The purchase was also the first new soybean purchase by China since a 544,000-tonne sale to a government buyer in June, the news agency said.
China and the United States have been locked in a trade war during which U.S. President Donald trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. In response, China increased levies on billions of dollars of products imported from the United States. China’s purchases of U.S. soybeans are at a 11-year low.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators met for a brief round of trade talks on July 31 and agreed to meet again in September.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that a group of five crushers were told by China’s state planner that they could apply for exemptions from the 25% tariffs on some U.S. soybean cargoes arriving before the end of December.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said China bought 66,800 tonnes of soybeans for 2018-19 delivery, including 62,000 tonnes that had been previously listed as headed for unknown destinations, Reuters said. China also canceled previous purchases totaling 72,900 tonnes.
The recently confirmed private purchase is a fraction of the 87 million tonnes China, the world’s top buyer, is expected to import over the 2019-20 marketing year.