U.S. soybeans close higher over China trade optimism
Updated 14:26, 02-Feb-2019

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybeans and grains closed higher, mainly boosted by the progress made during the latest round of high-level U.S.-China trade talks in Washington.

After the two-day talks that concluded on Thursday, the Chinese delegation said that China will make active efforts to expand imports from the United States in the agricultural sector.

On Saturday, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), China's largest agricultural products trader, said the company had recently bought over one million tons of U.S. soybeans in a statement on its website. 

Earlier in December, COFCO has already bought tons of U.S. soybeans after the two countries' heads of state struck a 90-day trade war truce on December 1 during the G20 summit, according to the statement. 

China imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S.-origin soybeans last July in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, which has been devastating for U.S. farmers who have struggled to find buyers for their record-large harvest.

Participants in the U.S. agricultural markets have followed the two-day trade talks closely, and the positive outcome pushed up CBOT oilseed prices, as China has for years been the top buyer of U.S. soybeans.

The optimistic mood among traders once led to sharp rises of soybean futures during the trading, before it settled with moderate gains.

At the end of the session, the most active March soybeans were up 2.5 cents, or 0.27 percent, to close at 9.1775 U.S. dollars per bushel. Corn contract for March delivery was up 1.75 cents, or 0.46 percent to settle at 3.7825 U.S. dollars per bushel. March wheat was up 7.75 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at 5.2425 U.S. dollars.

CBOT brokers estimated that funds on Friday bought 6,100 contracts of soybeans, 4,400 contracts of corn and 4,000 contracts of wheat.

(With input from Xinhua.)