CHICAGO, April 23 (Reuters) - U.S. exporters signed deals to send 272,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday morning, the second day in a row an export sale to the world's top soy importer has been announced.
The deals came after soybean futures dropped to an 11-month low as part of a broad-based commodities sell-off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tonnes of crops for state stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and make good on pledges to buy more U.S. crops, three sources told Reuters.
China plans to add about 10 million tonnes of soybeans, 20 million tonnes of corn and 1 million tonnes of cotton to its state reserves, said two of the sources, who were briefed on the government plan.
It agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. agriculture goods as part of a Phase 1 trade pact that Washington and Beijing signed in January.
The USDA said on Wednesday morning that private exporters reported the sale of 198,000 tonnes of soybeans, or about three bulk cargoes, to China in the 2019/20 marketing year.