December 20, 2018 / 1:15 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-China's Sinograin confirms U.S. soybean purchases

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Dec 20 (Reuters) - China's Sinograin said it had recently bought a few batches of soybeans from the United States, amid a truce in a trade war between the two nations.

The state stockpiler made the purchases "to implement the consensus achieved by China and the United States' heads of state", it said in a statement dated Dec. 19 that was published on its website.

Reuters reported on Dec. 12 that Sinograin and fellow state-run Chinese firm Cofco had bought over 1.5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans in the first major purchases since China and the United States agreed a temporary ceasefire in their trade row earlier this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture later confirmed sales to China, but Sinograin's statement, which did not specify the volumes purchased, marks the first official confirmation from the Chinese side.

China in July imposed a 25 percent tariff on imports of soybeans from the United States and this remains in place as the two countries look to resolve their trade row by March 1.

Benchmark soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade spiked to $9.28 a bushel on Dec. 12, their highest level since June, on news that Chinese purchases had resumed. They have since eased back to $9 a bushel.

Reporting by Brenda Goh and Tom Daly; Editing by Joseph Radford and Stephen Coates

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