The Chinese government has given new waivers to several domestic companies to buy U.S. soybeans without being subject to retaliatory tariffs, according to people familiar with the situation.

The companies received waivers for between 2 million and 3 million tons, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Some firms already bought at least 20 cargoes, or about 1.2 million tons, from the U.S. Pacific Northwest on Monday, the people said.

The waivers follow a meeting between working-level officials last week in the U.S. and before top negotiators meet next month to try to resolve the trade dispute. China’s commitment to buy more U.S. agricultural products is central to the talks, with President Donald Trump looking to shore up support from American farmers.

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Investors have been watching for signs of whether China will boost U.S. farm imports, viewing the purchases as a proxy for the outlook on trade talks. Global financial markets were roiled in the past two days after a Chinese delegation’s visit to farms in Nebraska and Montana was called off at the request of the U.S.

Iowa and Nebraska rank in the top five U.S. states in soybean production.

The change in schedule has nothing to do with trade talks, China’s Vice Agriculture Minister Han Jun was quoted as saying in a China Business News report. China is willing to expand farm trade, and the two nations had sufficient and candid communication about agriculture in just-finished ministerial level negotiations, the report said.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu plans to visit Washington next month for trade talks.

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