The US Soybean Export Council says the Chinese Ministry of Commerce may make a commitment to buy a record volume of American soybeans when its officials are in Iowa next month.
Ministry members, a delegation from which is due to sign an accord in Des Moines on July 13, have discussed the possibility with the council's top representative in China, said spokeswoman Lisa Humphreys of the Chesterfield, Missouri-based organization.
A record commitment would exceed the 13.4 million tonnes China agreed to buy in February 2012, also at a ceremony in Des Moines. Such a deal this time around would show continued strength in US soybean sales at a time when China's appetite for the oilseed is showing signs of waning.
Chinese imports may decline to about seven million tonnes in August and six million tonnes in September, from more than nine million tonnes in both June and July, according to Yang Linqin, an analyst at COFCO Futures.
China snaps up roughly one-quarter of the US soybean crop, and is the biggest buyer of American farm goods overall, with US$22.3 billion (HK$173.9 billion) in purchases projected in the year ending September 30, the US Department of Agriculture has said.