SHANGHAI, CHINA — China has purchased soybeans from Brazil just before it signs a partial trade deal with the United States next week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Private buyers have purchased about 10 cargoes from Brazil this week, with most being shipped from January through April.

The purchases are not unusual for this time of year, Bloomberg said, but they come just before the United States and China are expected to sign the first phase of a trade pact on Jan. 15. It also shows China’s willingness to buy American soybeans only when they are cheaper, the news agency said.

Brazil is beginning to harvest what is forecast to be a record soybean crop, lowering prices.

China has said it will buy $40 billion a year in American agricultural products, a target that will require big purchases of U.S. soybeans, Bloomberg said.