WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said private exporters have sold 180,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat for delivery to China in the 2013-14 marketing year that begins June 1.

Talk that China was back in the U.S. market for wheat was in the futures market earlier in the week. Traders indicated the sale had been mostly priced into the futures market over the past two days, and contributed to a 14¾¢ a bushel gain in Chicago July soft red winter wheat futures on May 23.

There were no new sales of U.S. wheat to China during the week ended May 16 indicated in the USDA’s weekly Export Sales report released May 23. For the year to date, the USDA indicated China has purchased 1,262,800 tonnes of all classes of wheat for delivery in 2013-14. Year-to-date purchases of U.S. wheat by China for the current year (2012-13) totaled 737,300 tonnes through May 16, up 55% from the same time a year earlier, according to the USDA export report.

Earlier in the week the USDA reported sales of 115,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans and 360,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to China, and of 180,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to “unknown destinations,” all for delivery in 2013-14, which begins Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

Exporters are required to report to the USDA any sales of 100,000 tonnes or more of one commodity in one day to one destination by 3p.m. Eastern Time the next business day after the sale. Smaller amounts are reported weekly.