The State-owned China Grain Reserves Group, or Sinograin, signed contracts on Wednesday with several foreign companies to import soybeans from South America, in an apparent move to diversify the country's soybean import sources to reduce its reliance on supplies of the oilseed from the US amid an ongoing trade war between China and the US.
On the sidelines of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Sinograin signed the contracts with six suppliers, including two US-based companies - Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc - according to a statement from Sinograin.
The soybean imports will mainly come from South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, the statement noted.
Further details as to the amount of soybeans or the value were not immediately available.
However, the move points to a loss for US soybean farmers, who have been eyeing China's massive market for their products, as a result of the trade war launched by the US administration that has seen a rise in tariffs.
In response to US tariffs on Chinese products, China in July imposed a 25 percent duty on US soybeans.
In September, China cut soybean imports from the US by 80 percent from a year earlier to 132,000 tons, while imports from Brazil jumped 28 percent to 7.59 million tons, according data from Bloomberg.
While staying away from commenting on the trade war, Sinograin said in its statement on Wednesday that it has actively adapted to "new global economic and trade situations" and adjusted sources of soybean imports and "further expanded soybean purchases in South America."