Chinese importers signed off on contracts to buy more than 700,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans. 

An Agweek report says most of the sales were for new-crop beans, and it may signal that China is expecting supplies will get tighter in Brazil as they lock in deliveries for after September. 

A USDA announcement last week says only 63,000 tons of the total amount is set for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year, with the remaining amount is set for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year, which starts on September 1st. 

Industry insiders note that the size of the new crop contracts likely means the purchases were made through state-owned buyers. 

Private purchasers are said to be jumpy over the fate of the Phase One trade pact between China and the U.S. as tensions grow between the two nations. 

Private buyers are also more likely to still look at South American soybeans to fill their needs because there is no risk of tariffs. 

The total purchase of 720,000 metric tons of U.S beans is enough to fill 11 ships, and it may signal that China will be counting on the U.S. to fill out its soybean needs over the final half of the calendar year.