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China buys more U.S. soybeans despite tariff threat

Chinese buyers booked deals to purchase 378,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday, even as the Trump administration considers new tariffs to punish China for the coronavirus outbreak.

Private exporters reported to the government that 136,000 tonnes of soybeans were for delivery in the 2019/2020 marketing year and 242,000 tonnes were for delivery in 2020/21.

China has stepped up its buying of U.S. agriculture commodities in recent weeks as it seeks to fulfill its obligations under the Phase 1 trade pact Washington and Beijing reached in January. The deals were a rare bright spot for the sector that has seen prices plunge due to the health pandemic and traders said Trump's recent rhetoric about China puts the purchases at risk.

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