Rumors are swirling around the grain markets that China has been buying soybeans since January 1. Northstar Commodity Managing Director Jason Ward isn’t seeing any evidence of sales to China. He is watching freight rates and basis levels at the Gulf and Pacific Northwest ports. “The first purchase China had in December, everyone knew about it immediately. Since then, it’s just backed up and the freight is cheaper,” explains Ward. Also, the private sector is starting to lower down the crop potential in South America. “Some are getting aggressive, which I think leads into the trade deal with China. If all of a sudden China doesn’t believe they can buy all the beans they need from Brazil because their production starts to get smaller, I think it makes them more apt to work with the U.S. and get a deal done soon.”
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