State-owned Chinese companies have continued to buy US soyabeans despite the government telling them to halt purchases, Reuters reported sources as saying on 1 June.

US President Donald Trump said on 29 May that his administration would stop its special treatment for Hong Kong in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation there.

In response, China said on 1 June that it would counter US attempts to harm Beijing’s interests.

It was not clear why buying had continued after Beijing’s message to state-owned firms, but US traders told Reuters that Chinese importers had still not covered a large share of the country’s soyabean needs for October and November.

AgriCensus reported on 5 June that state-owned and private crushers were heard actively buying US soyabeans, contracting a total of around 1.5M tonnes in the first week of June,

China had also been purchasing soyabeans from Brazil during the country’s peak export season, it quoted market sources as saying.

Following the latest round of purchases, soyabean futures reached their highest level in two months, AgriCensus said.

Any sustained halt in Chinese buying would further threaten progress in meeting goals set out in the Phase 1 trade deal signed in January, when China pledged to significantly boost purchases of US agricultural goods after cutting imports during their trade war.

The US Department of Agriculture and US Trade Representative’s office had not immediately responded to requests for comment, according to Reuters.