The Chinese companies which included COFCO, Sinograin, and Chinatex signed 13 new letters of intent on 16 September 2013 with the U.S. agricultural exporters in order to buy 4.83 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans worth 2.8 billion US Dollars.
The letters of intent were signed at a ceremony which was hosted by U.S. Soybean Export Council. At the ceremony, letters of intent were signed with the representatives from Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Columbia Grain and others. It was decided that the shipping of the soybeans will take place in the current marketing year only which started on 1 September 2013. It will take place before the next South American crop starts marketing in the markets in March 2014.
It is important to note that these letters of intent are not the binding sales contracts. These are honoured by the trading partners like US and China. The volume of purchase agreements which were signed on 16 September 2013 is merely a part of the annual demand of China for the U.S. soybean.
China is the top most soybean importer of the world and it bought over 21.5 million tonnes of oilseed from US in 2012 season. From all the origins of the oilseeds, China bought 59.5 million tonnes. It is estimated that in the present season, China will import 69 million tonnes of oilseed from all the origins.