The USDA announced Friday that U.S. exporters are reporting large sales of U.S. corn and wheat to China after years of depressed trade. A new report shows export sales of 756,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and 340,000 metric tons of hard red winter wheat to China.

The corn sale is for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year and the wheat sale is for 2020-21.

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“China’s reappearance in the market with a major corn purchase is encouraging,” U.S Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand said in a statement given to Agri-Pulse. “We are hopeful this will continue in light of the country’s phase one agreement commitments with the U.S.”

Both sales come on the heels of China offering to exempt importers from steep retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. ag commodities. Also, China agreed in the “phase one” trade deal – implemented in February – to honor commitments to buy corn, wheat and rice under tariff rate quotas that had been under-used for years.

The sale for wheat announced today is more than China purchased in all of the 2019 calendar year (309,474 metric tons), according to USDA data. China only imported a total of 236,062 metric tons of wheat in all of last year.

"This is a significant purchase volume and the largest since China implemented retaliatory tariffs on U.S. wheat in March 2018,” said U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson. “U.S. wheat farmers are in a good position to help fill the TRQ given current export prices, relatively low freight rates and the ready supply of the wheat classes China needs. USW appreciates the efforts of both the U.S. and Chinese governments to reach the phase one trade agreement that has helped re-open the door to U.S. wheat imports by China.”

(This story was updated at 11:59 AM to include statements from the U.S. Wheat Associates and U.S. Grains Council.)

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