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China accelerates U.S. corn buying with record purchase

China makes its largest purchase of corn, taking a step towards meeting the trade agreement.

By Elizabeth Rembert

China took another step toward meeting agricultural commitments made in the phase one trade agreement with the U.S. with its biggest-ever purchase of American corn.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that exporters sold 1.937 million metric tons of corn, the third-largest deal for the grain ever. This purchase tops the previous record sale to China earlier this month, when 1.762 million tons were booked.

The purchases could help President Donald Trump shore up support from farmers ahead of the November election. The agriculture sector is crucial to maintain farm- and rust-belt states that carried him to victory four years ago.

China agreed to buy $36.5 billion in agricultural commodities this year from the U.S. as part of a trade accord, up from $24 billion in 2017.

The sale is for delivery in the 2020/2021 marketing year, which begins Sept. 1. Corn futures for December rose as much as 1% to $3.295 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, snapping a four-day losing streak.

--With assistance from Dominic Carey.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Elizabeth Rembert in New York at erembert@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net
Patrick McKiernan
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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