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China books biggest deal for U.S. corn since May 2021

Ag components shortage roils farm sector, equipment makers during harvest

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chinese buyers bought 1.084 million tonnes of U.S. corn, their biggest purchase of U.S. grain since May 2021, the U.S. government said on Monday.

The deal comes as shipments from Ukraine, the world's fourth biggest exporter of corn, are snarled following Russia's invasion. China had been a big buyer of Ukrainian corn and the fighting, which also has disrupted spring planting season, has created uncertainty about their reliability as a supplier.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said that the deal was for 676,000 tonnes of corn to be delivered in the 2021/22 marketing year that ends Aug. 31 and for 408,000 tonnes to be delivered in 2022/23.

USDA said last week that U.S. farmers plan to cut their corn plantings this spring despite the strong global demand, with high prices for inputs such as fuel and fertilizer cutting into potential profits for growing the yellow grain.

(Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)