Reuters reports China purchased at least 1 million metric tons of soybeans from the U.S. on Friday. It comes just one day after U.S. and Chinese officials wrapped up another round of trade talks in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with President Trump in the Oval Office at the conclusion of those meetings. He read a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping and said China would be buying 5 mmt of U.S. soybeans.
President Trump said the purchase was a fantastic sign of faith and called the buy "music" to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's ears. President Trump said besides soybeans, China would also buy "lots of corn, wheat" and other products.
Reuters said Chinese state-owned firms made the latest buy on Friday. It reported the purchases would be shipped between April and July, mostly from U.S. Gulf Coast export terminals. The news agency stated one trader with knowledge about the deal said the total buy was actually around 2.2 mmt.
U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says "substantial progress" was made during the talks this week. Lighthizer and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin are set to travel to China after the Lunar New Year to resume discussions and lay the groundwork for a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The two sides are trying to make a deal by a March 1st deadline. That's when U.S. tariffs against Chinese goods are scheduled to bump up to 25% from 10%. President Trump is trying to strike an optimistic tone, saying "we're going to have a great trade deal".