SINGAPORE/SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) - Chinese importers are negotiating deals to buy 500,000 tonnes of Australian wheat for January-March shipment to fill a shortfall in domestic supplies, three trade sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Chinese interest in Australia's new-crop wheat comes after the world's top producer and consumer has seen as much as 20 million tonnes of its crop downgraded by adverse weather, according to a Reuters investigation.
China's wheat crop has suffered more severely than previously thought from frost in the growing period and rain during the harvest.
"There is ongoing interest for about 500,000 tonnes of Australian standard wheat and Australian prime wheat," said one Australian-based trader.
One Singapore-based trader said Chinese buyers were bidding for 500,000 tonnes of Australian wheat but they could end up buying higher quantities.
China has already bought 300,000 tonnes of new-crop Australian wheat in contracts signed at the end of June and early this month. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral and Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)