US offers pull back as Sinograin, Cofco confirm huge soybean purchase

4 Feb 2019 | Andy Allan

China’s state-owned agribusiness Cofco and stockpiler Sinograin confirmed on Saturday they had bought a significant number of US soybeans each in a bid to smooth trade relations with the President Trump administration, causing US cash offers premiums to jump $3.75/mt or 10 cents per bushel.

In a statement published online, Cofco said: “In order to implement the consensus reached by the heads of state of China and the United States... Cofco recently purchased millions of tonnes of soybeans.”

Sinograin published exactly the same information, substituting the word "Cofco" for "Sinograin".

On Thursday, China’s top trade negotiator said that his nation would buy another 5 million mt of soybeans after pledging to buy 5 million mt on December 1.

On Friday, trade sources told Agricensus that at least 2.5 million mt had been bought by lunchtime in Chicago, with some estimates as high as 4 million mt.

Prices paid were said to be 130-136 cents per bushel over nearby futures contracts for April through June loading out of the US Gulf.

Cargoes were also said to be bought out of the Pacific Northwest at 125 cents per bushel for April shipment onwards.

Offers of US soybeans for loading from February onwards out of the US Gulf have since spiked 10 cents per bushel to 40 cents per bushel for March shipment and 30 cents for April shipment and 33 cents per bushel for May loading.