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BEIJING: China’s soybean imports from the US rose 15.4% in the first two months of this year, data showed on Monday, as delays in harvesting in top supplier Brazil prompted buyers to seek more US beans.

The world’s top buyer of soybeans, China bought 11.59 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States, up from 10.04 million tonnes a year ago, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Imports from Brazil, meanwhile, fell 36% to 2.24 million tonnes.

Rain delayed the harvest in key growing regions in Brazil and has also slowed the movement of soybeans to ports, according to some analysts.

Soybeans climb to one-week high on Argentina crop concerns

Total imports in the period reached a record 16.2 million tonnes, data showed earlier this month, as buyers stocked up in anticipation of healthy demand this year.

For corn imports too, the US was China’s top supplier, with 2.35 million tonnes arriving in the two-month period, up 22% on the same period last year.

Arrivals from Ukraine reached 1.18 million tonnes, dropping 56% from a year ago. Brazil supplied 1.48 million tonnes, the first imports since China authorised a new batch of exporters last year.

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