WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said June 3 that private exporters have sold 360,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat to China for delivery in the 2013-14 marketing year that began June 1, 2013.

Confirmation of the sale to China supported wheat futures prices, especially in Chicago where soft red winter wheat is traded. Prices there advanced about 7@8c a bu in nearby July 2013 through March 2014 contracts. Traders indicated the imported wheat was to be used as livestock feed.

China’s last purchase of wheat over 100,000 tonnes was of 180,000 tonnes of soft red winter wheat reported by the U.S.D.A. on May 24, and prior to that was 360,000 tonnes on April 11, both for delivery in the 2013-14 marketing year.

The U.S.D.A. indicated in its June 27 weekly export sales report, that as of June 20, there were outstanding export sales of 1,473,800 tonnes of U.S. wheat to China for delivery in 2013-14, compared with 280,000 tonnes at the same time a year earlier. Of that total, 1,247,700 tonnes were soft red winter, 1,000 tonnes were hard red winter, 115,000 tonnes were hard red spring and 110,000 tonnes were white wheat. Actual export shipments of wheat to China were only 115,600 tonnes for the year to date (June 1-June 20), compared with 59,200 tonnes the same period a year earlier.

Exporters are required to report to the U.S.D.A. any sales of 100,000 tonnes or more of one commodity in one day to one destination by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time the next business day after the sale. Smaller amounts are included in the U.S.D.A.’s weekly export sales report.