(Adds purchase volume and value, adds buyers and sellers, adds background on USDA daily sales announcements)
By Karl Plume
Oct 14 (Reuters) - A delegation of soybean importers from China signed agreements to buy 5.1 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans valued at $2.1 billion at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, the U.S. Soybean Export Council said during a Facebook Live presentation.
The purchase agreements were signed by seven of the top 10 Chinese soybean buyers, including state-owned COFCO and Sinograin and privately-held Sunshine group. Sellers included large grain traders such as Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.
Shipment details for the deals were not disclosed.
Some of Friday’s purchase agreements between U.S. exporters and buyers from China, the world’s top soybean importer, are expected to be “frame contracts,” with terms to be finalized at a later date.
Still, some of the deals may be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s daily sales reporting system, which requires exporters to disclose deals totaling more than 100,000 tonnes in a single day. Past signings have triggered large daily sales announcement in the following days.
A similar event in Indianapolis in August led to nearly 4 million tonnes in purchases valued at $1.8 billion, according to the trade group. Last year’s Des Moines signing ceremony, when deals for 13.18 million tonnes of soybeans valued at $5.3 billion were announced, led to USDA confirmation of 1.26 million tonnes in sales over the next two days.
The USDA expects China to import 86 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2016/17 season, including 30 million tonnes from the United States, the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of the oilseed. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Grant McCool)