There were no apparent signs on Monday of any slowdown in the recent strong Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans.

USDA on Monday morning reported the sale by private exporters of another 221,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery during 2007-2008.

Meanwhile, CIF soybean basis values for December shipment forward remained firm at midday, amid expectations the Chinese buying would continue.

A report from the Chinese commodities analyst Shanghai JCI released late on Friday said Chinese companies had booked 14-16 cargoes of soybean import shipments in the previous week, up from around 11 cargoes in the preceding week.

All the shipments booked last week are scheduled to be delivered in December and January, the company said in the report.

Chinese private and state-run companies have stepped up soybean imports in the international market to ease the rise in edible oil prices in China.

Shanghai JCI estimated China’s government may have purchased around 400,000 metric tons of soy oil and up to 700,000 tons of soybeans over the past several weeks, for shipment between December and March.

Soybean futures traded on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange did settle mostly lower on Monday, however, as market players anticipated that the government could introduce policies to curb cash price gains.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.