China soybean buying slowed down this summer as concerns about the health of the country's economy mounted, triggering a 30% decline in Chinese stock prices.
But lower prices lured Chinese buyers back to the market in the latest week as they made deals for around 23.75 million bushels from the U.S., even as Brazilian supplies continue to flood the market. The news helped lift soybean prices 10 to 15 cents higher into the morning break in Chicago.
Total old and new crop sales to all customers totaled 48.4 million bushels, by far the biggest weekly total since early January. The fact the old crop deals, 15.3 million bushels, came at a time when U.S. business normally is minimal could tighten the already tight August-September spread, which traded at a new high into the morning break.
No soybeans are registered for delivery against August, which goes into delivery on Friday.
The new crop business, 33 million bushels, was also welcomed. Still, year-to-date new crop bookings remain at the lowest level in five years. While Brazil's big crop has delayed some purchases there are also concerns weaker Chinese economic growth could affect their purchases this year.
After the weekly numbers came out USDA announced the sale of another 5.145 million bushels of new crop to unknown destinations under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Wheat business was also brisk at 25.7 million bushels, the best showing in old crop bookings since September 2014. Sales continue to focus on regular customers, but these accounts increased volumes from earlier levels with Mexico and Taiwan both taking multiple cargoes.
U.S. shipments remain fairly sluggish, however, at only 13.5 million bushels, though total commitments are in line with USDA's forecast for the marketing year.
Corn shipments of 42.2 million bushels remain seasonally good, but their year-to-date total is also behind the rate needed every week through August to meet USDA's forecast for the 2014 crop.
Japan was by far the biggest buyer of old crop at 14.3 million bushels, though most of the deal was switched from sales previously reported to unknown destinations. Mexico was the by far the biggest buyer of new crop.
Sorghum sales also improved after a recent lull, with China as usual accounting for most of the deals as buyers their continue to bring in alternatives to the country's high priced domestic corn.