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Soy ETF Slips as USDA Confirms U.S. Resumed Sales to China

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Soybean futures and commodity-related ETF retreated Thursday as traders hoped for more deals after the U.S. resumed delivery to China in the wake of renewed trade talks between the two countries.

The Teucrium Soybean Fund (SOYB) fell 1.1% Thursday, with CBOT soybean futures down 1.4% to $9.205 per bushel.

According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, private exporters sold 1.13 million tonnes of U.S. soy to China, the world's top soybean importer, marking the first significant U.S. soybean purchase in over six months after a trade truce was reached on December 1, Reuters reports.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day ceasefire on the trade war that gripped global markets this year, marking the first steps in negotiating a trade deal after meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

While Trump told Reuters that China was buying a "tremendous amount" of U.S. soy, it remained unclear how many soybeans China would acquire as tariffs remain in place without a concrete trade deal in place and a record Brazilian crop near harvest.

China purchased about 60% of U.S. soybean exports valued at more than $12 billion in 2017. The purchases so far confirmed Monday were less than $500 million.

“There was talk we’d see like 5 million tonnes over the next few days, so we will need some follow-through buying from China, especially outside of Sino,” one U.S. trader said, referring to China’s state-run buyer Sinograin, told Reuters.

China stepped away from U.S. soy following retaliatory tariffs on U.S. shipments back in July 6. U.S. exports to China declined to 8.2 million tonnes in the first 10 months of the year, compared to 21.4 million for the same period year-over-year.

After the suddenly drop off in Chinese demand, U.S. soy prices plunged to their lowest level in a decade - SOYB is still down 5.9% year-to-date despite the recent run up.

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