China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, brought in 7.25 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in September, up from4.79 million tonnes last year, data from the GeneralAdministration of customs showed.
Chinese bean crushers booked large volumes of Brazilian beans earlier in the year on margins lifted by robust demand to feed a domestic pig herd recovering from the impact of an outbreak of African swine fever.
In total, China brought in 9.8 million tonnes of soybeans from all origins for the month of September, up 19% from the previous year.
China brought in 1.17 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States in September, down 32.4% from 1.73 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier, when shipments booked during a truce in the U.S.-China trade dispute arrived.
American cargoes were expected to rise in the fourth quarter, when the U.S. beans dominate the market in their harvest season.
China has stepped up purchases of agricultural products from the United States, including soybeans and corn, partly to fulfill commitments made during the trade deal the two countries signed in January this year.
Overall imports were expected to edge down in coming months, analysts and traders said, as shipments from Brazil dry up with the harvest season in South America approaching the end.
National soybean inventories came down to 7 million tonnes by the week of Oct. 18 after reaching a high point at near 8 million tonnes in early September.
China's national soybean meal inventorieswere at 937,900 tonnes, down from a record high at 1.27 million tonnes reached at the beginning of September.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu, Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)