Bids for Brazilian soybeans fall on China US purchase rumours

1 Jul 2019 | Andy Allan

Basis bids for soybeans loading out of Brazilian ports next month fell by about 10 c/bu ($2/mt) in trade on Monday as rumours that Chinese state-owned buyers may pick up new crop US beans circulated the market and offset a stronger real.

Bids for beans loading in Paranagua port next month fell from 95 c/bu over August futures on Friday to 85 c/bu on Monday, despite soybean futures flatlining and a stronger real.

Typically a stronger real would result in firmer premiums.

“There are rumours China is supposed to buy new crop US soybeans this week,” said one source in Brazil.

“You choose what to believe, but what we hear is the Chinese SOEs (state-owned enterprises) will be buying new crop beans this week,” said a second source.

On Saturday, President Trump said that China has agreed that it will buy “large amounts” of agricultural products from the US in return for delaying the implementation of new tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the US.

Tweeting from Osaka, Trump said that talks to restart negotiations had gone “far better than expected,” but was vague on the volume and type of agricultural goods that he thought China would buy.

Chinese officials have not confirmed the statement.

Typically, Brazilian soybeans compete with US beans for Chinese market share, although the imposition of a 25% import tariff on US beans has meant that the only buyers for US beans in China are Cofco and Sinograin, who avoid the tariff as they are state-owned.

China has agreed to buy 20 million mt of US soybeans, but has so far contracted just 14 million mt.

Brazil cash prices for soybeans loading in August are currently at a $19/mt premium over those from the US Gulf, when freight is around $10/mt cheaper and Brazilian soybeans normally attract a $4-7/mt premium.

“I didn’t hear the rumour, but I don't doubt it, after all US beans are cheaper, right?” said a third source.