China agreed to import 8.62 million metric tons of soybean oilseed from US suppliers, a pledge valued at around US$4.3 billion, Bloomberg reported. The deal, which was signed during a trip by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to the state of Iowa, includes such companies as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.NYSE), Bunge (BG.NYSE), Cargill and CHS (CHSCP.Nasdaq). China is the world’s largest soybean consumer, purchasing 20.6 million metric tons of the crop from US suppliers last year, making up 60% of the total shipped abroad. The USDA said that China will likely increase its total purchases by 62% over the next 10 years. Agriculture is particularly important to Iowa; 17% of the state’s work force is employed in the sector, which contributes to 27% of its GDP.