Despite tensions with China, USDA forecast 2018/19 soybean exports almost 11 percent higher at 2.29 billion bushels. Coincidentally, this occurred the same day that Chinese authorities decreased total imports due to trade tensions. The 25 percent import tariff is still up in the air, so USDA might be optimistic about trade talks, or the agency might have additional information. China continues to import soybeans, mainly from Brazil, though these have slowed slightly in the last week as stocks began piling up. This has led to a drop in the price spread to $94 per MT from the high of $160. The typical premium for this time of the year is between $50 and $60 per MT.
Cumulative U.S. soybean exports, by season
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