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CHICAGO: Chinese importers bought four to six bulk cargoes of Brazilian soybeans early this week for shipment in October and November, an unusual purchase during the peak export period for rival supplier the United States, two traders with knowledge of the deals said on Wednesday.

The deals for up to an estimated 360,000 tonnes of soybeans were inked as export terminals along the U.S. Gulf Coast in Louisiana, the country’s busiest crop shipping outlet, have struggled to recover from damage, flooding and power outages caused by Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29.

The pivot to costly Brazilian soybeans underscored concerns among global importers that U.S. shipping delays could linger well into the peak season for exports from the United States.

The Brazilian soybeans were sold at lofty prices of $4.20 or more premium to Chicago Board of Trade November futures, including cost and freight, two U.S. trade sources said.

Soybean exporters said the purchases by the world’s top importer were likely triggered by concerns that U.S. Gulf terminal capacity would remain constrained into next month.

“There are no offers at the Gulf for October. The outages have pushed everything back and nobody wants to sell October and add to their pain,” said one U.S. soy exporter who declined to be named.

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