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Issue #583 | Forest Products

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2014 Media Kit
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China cancels U.S. soybean purchases, shipments ease (USDA)

By: | at 10:33 AM | Channel(s): Liner Shipping  

Chinese importers canceled several cargoes of U.S. soybean purchases last week and U.S. shipments to all destinations fell to the lowest point since October, U.S. Department of Agriculture data on Friday showed.

USDA reported a net decline of 145,600 tonnes in U.S. old-crop soybean sales to the world’s top importer in the week ended Feb. 13, the first week of net negative sales to China this season.

USDA also reported a net decline of 268,500 tonnes in sales to “unknown destinations,” 140,000 tonnes of that switched to the Netherlands and 27,000 tonnes switched to Japan. At least some of the remaining 101,500 tonnes were believed to be originally earmarked for China, traders said.

Shipments to all destinations last week fell to about 1.34 million tonnes, the lowest in about four months, according to USDA.

U.S. soybean export demand is typically concentrated in the first half of the September-to-August marketing year. The harvest in top exporter Brazil begins in January and shipments normally accelerate in February and March. Exports from No. 3 supplier Argentina follow soon after.

The cancellations of U.S. sales are not unusual and more were expected in the coming weeks, traders say.

China had more than 4 million tonnes in unshipped old-crop U.S. purchases as of Feb. 13, and “unknown destinations” had 1.5 million tonnes of outstanding sales, according to USDA data.

China, which imports about two-thirds of global soybean exports, normally over-books its U.S. purchases to ensure a steady supply in case of port congestion or loading delays in South America.