BEIJING, CHINA — China’s soybean imports surged to 7.72 million tonnes in September, up 12% year-over-year, as demand for soymeal for animal feed picked up, Reuters reported, citing data from the General Administration of Customs.

The increase in September imports came largely from the United States, which shipped 1.15 million tonnes to China last month, up from 169,439 tonnes in September 2021, customs data showed. Imports from Brazil slipped to 5.58 million tonnes versus 5.936 million tonnes last year.

Global soybean prices rose this year after bad weather cut production and exports from Brazil, China’s top supplier, pushing benchmark prices close to a decade high in June. The high prices, poor profits from crushing beans to make animal feed and lackluster demand from the livestock sector earlier in the year had curbed China’s purchases.

However, September arrivals for China, the world’s top buyer of soybeans, were up from 6.88 million tonnes a year earlier, according to the customs data, and higher than August imports of 7.17 million tonnes.

The imports were slightly higher than some traders were expecting but came amid an increasingly urgent need to rebuild stockpiles. With hog farming profits surging since the summer, demand for soymeal for feed has picked up, sending prices soaring in recent weeks on tight supply.

Though the September imports were higher, overall imports for the first nine months of the year remain down 6.6% compared to last year at 69.04 million tonnes.