BEIJING, CHINA — China’s soybean imports in August hit the highest level in nearly a year and a half, Reuters reported, noting that shipments booked earlier cleared customs following a delay.

Imports were up 9.7% to 9.48 million tonnes from 8.64 million tonnes in July. Totals were also up from a year ago, when China imported 9.15 million tonnes.

China and the United States have been locked in a trade war that saw Beijing add 25% tariffs on multiple U.S. products, including soybeans, last July. Tariffs were in response to similar action taken by the U.S. government.

China resumed some purchases of U.S. soybeans in December but tensions between the two nations have been escalating, Reuters said.

Chinese demand has been slowed by African swine fever. Total soybean purchases for the first eight months of the year are 56.31 million tonnes, down 9.2% from last year.