(Updates with details of China’s previous purchases in the second paragraph and economist’s comment in the fourth paragraph.)
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. exporters sold 510,000 metric tons of soybeans to China, the biggest global consumer, for delivery in the 12 months that start Sept. 1, the Department of Agriculture said today in a statement.
Sales were the largest single day purchase of U.S. supplies since Feb. 17 when China bought a record 2.923 million tons, USDA data show. China canceled 1.155 million tons of purchases for delivery before Sept. 1 in three separate announcements from Dec. 18 to Jan. 3, the USDA said. Soybeans fell 1 percent to $14.22 a bushel at 9:59 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, down 21 percent from a record $17.89 in September.
China has received 15.555 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans since Sept. 1, up 25 percent from a year earlier as of Jan. 10, the USDA said last week. The Asian country has yet to transport 4.102 million tons of purchases made earlier. China will boost imports from all countries by 6.4 percent to a record 63 million tons, the USDA said Jan. 11.
“Chinese crushing margins have improved, and they have become more active buyers with the drop in prices,” Bill Nelson, a senior economist at Doane Advisory Services Co. in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview.
The government also reported today that 113,000 tons were sold to unknown destinations for delivery after the start of the 2013 harvest on Sept. 1.
Exporters are required to report sales of 100,000 tons or larger of a single commodity to one destination. Smaller sales must be reported on a weekly basis, according to the government.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Millie Munshi