December 11, 2003



China Delegation To Buy 1.5 Million MT US Soybeans Next Week


A Chinese shopping team, scheduled to leave for the U.S. next week, is expected to sign contracts to buy as much as 1.5 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans, the state-run China Central Television reported Thursday.


China recently decided to revive the buying trip, which was put on hold last month after Washington imposed limits on imports of some Chinese-made textile products.


The buying delegation, led by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce & Animal By-Products, is scheduled to leave for the U.S. Dec. 15, CCTV said.


The delegation, which includes buyers such as East Ocean Grains and Oils Co. Ltd., one of the largest crushers in China, will sign contracts to buy about 1.50 million tons of soybeans in Chicago Dec. 18, CCTV said.


The trip comes close on the heels of a visit to the U.S. by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who met President George Bush Wednesday.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it expects similar delegations from China to buy wheat and cotton to arrive "this year or early next year."


USDA spokeswoman Julie Quick said that USDA officials who had conversations with their Chinese counterparts were confident the visits will take place.


Delegations representing Chinese wheat and cotton buyers were originally scheduled to arrive in the U.S. Dec. 1., but those visits were also called off mid-November following the row on textile imports by the U.S.

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