BEIJING, CHINA — China is increasing imports of soybeans to meet rising demand before a seasonal period of high consumption, Bloomberg reported.

Chinese companies have booked at least 40 cargoes from the United States, Brazil and Argentina, according to people familiar with the transactions. The purchases will help rebuild stockpiles prior to the Chinese festivals that run from the fall to the Lunar New Year.

Most cargoes are for loading in September and October, but some have booked for next year, Bloomberg reported.

Chinese purchases slowed in the first half of the year amid negative margins for crushing beans into meal and oil, cutting inventories before a busy season for demand.

The US Department of Agriculture on Aug. 31 announced export sales activity of 167,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, bringing the total sales for the week to 431,000 tonnes.