August is shaping up to be a good month for U.S. sorghum sales to China. The latest data out of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service shows Chinese companies contracted to buy 696,300 metric tons of the grain in the first week of the month.

Weekly sales numbers for July 31 through Aug. 6 show that Chinese buyers purchased 348,300 metric tons of U.S. sorghum for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year and 348,000 tons for 2020-21 delivery.

USDA also reported that actual shipments of sorghum to China for the seven-day period reached a marketing-year high of 479,200 tons. 

According to another USDA analysis released Wednesday, about 1.2 million tons of U.S. sorghum were contracted for 2020-21 delivery through the month of July and more than half of that volume was purchased for delivery to China. That makes this year’s sales of new-crop sorghum – worldwide and to China - the highest they’ve been in five years.

China’s purchases of U.S. soybeans also have been gaining steam. Importers contracted to buy 420,500 tons of old crop and 1.7 million tons of new-crop soybeans in the first week of August.

Since then, sales have been strong. On Thursday USDA reported a daily sale of 197,000 tons of soybeans to China for delivery during the 2020-21 marketing year. That followed a 258,000-ton sale Wednesday, a 132,000-ton sale Tuesday, a 588,000-ton sale Monday and a 456,000-ton sale Friday, all of which were new-crop contracts.

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USDA reported export sales of 76,500 tons of old-crop U.S. corn, but physical export amount was far greater, totaling 396,600 tons. Chinese buyers made no purchases for new-crop corn from July 31 through Aug. 6, but trade has still been brisk.

Through July, the Chinese purchased nearly 6 million tons of U.S. corn for delivery in 2020-21, pushing total new crop commitments to 10.9 million tons, “just shy of tripling the level a year ago and well ahead of the pace seen in recent history,” the USDA report said.