China buys mountain of US soyabeans as trade truce holds

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Top officials from the US and China have begun talks to sort out their trade differences, in particular to identify steps that address the concerns of US President Donald Trump on intellectual property and reduce the balance of trade, a media report said.

Traders said China made the first major purchase of USA soybeans since Washington and Beijing agreed to a temporary trade truce earlier this month.

Trump's tweet came shortly after he agreed with Xi to a truce in the trade war during a meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

Citing industry sources, the USA soybean council said state-owned firms from China are stocking up their purchases in the product, and the shipments are expected to take place before March next year.

China's Finance Ministry didn't immediately respond to a faxed request for comment sent outside business hours. -China trade negotiations will reach an agreement by the March 1 "hard deadline" stressed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

China a year ago purchased about 60 percent of USA soybean exports in deals valued at more than $12 billion.

Trump has agreed to hold fire on raising tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on some $200 billion in imports from China.

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She is now awaiting extradition to the US but has reportedly just been released on bail.

China retaliated with penalties on $110 billion of American goods but is running out of imports for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance. Futures in Chicago tumbled as a result, while the 2018 harvest had been piling up, unsold, in silos, bins and bags across the U.S. Midwest.

The sources said the White House was delaying its approval mainly on hopes China will soon resume purchases of soybeans, something that has raised questions over what extent of aid will be necessary.

The lack of sales has left United States farmers in a rough spot.

Commodities traders and analysts said soybean prices may struggle to build on Wednesday's gains unless China buys considerably more soybeans. "We need follow-up sales in short order in order to keep the momentum higher in soybeans".

The discussions reportedly touched on China's purchases of agricultural goods and changes to China's economic policies, including its Made in China 2025 plan, which seeks to promote the growth of tech industries such as robotics, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"From the Huawei case, it is increasingly obvious that the China-US trade war is about the exchange of technology, and the development of advanced technologies by Chinese companies", said analysts at ING in a note. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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