BEIJING, Oct 25 (Reuters) - China's September soybean imports from the United States surged more than thirteen fold from a year ago, customs data showed on Friday, as cargoes bought earlier during an easing in the trade war between the world's top two economies cleared customs. The world's top buyer of soybeans, brought in 1.73 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States in September, up from 132,248 tonnes last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. September shipments from the U.S. were also up 3.0%, from 1.68 million tonnes in August. China last July slapped tariffs of 25% on a list of American products, including soybeans, in a tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S., effectively curbing shipments from a country that is traditionally its second largest supplier of the oilseed. Chinese importers, however, returned to the U.S. market and completed several rounds of buying this year, following government instructions and a waiver on extra tariffs, part of Beijing's goodwill gesture aimed at ending the months-long trade war. Beijing this week offered major Chinese and international crushers another round of waivers from extra tariffs on imports of up to 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. The waivers failed to trigger a flood of immediate buying, however. China bought 4.79 million tonnes of soybeans from its top supplier Brazil in September, down from 7.59 million last year, the data showed. The figure was also down from 6.68 million tonnes in August, according to the data. Shipments for the whole of September have fallen, as an epidemic of African swine fever that has slashed China's pig herd reduced demand for soymeal. China's pig herd in September was 41.1% smaller than a year earlier, while the number of sows fell 38.9% in the month, the agriculture ministry said last week. Here are China's soybean imports from Brazil, the United States, and Argentina in September 2019, according to the customs data.
Origin Sept(tonnes) % chg y/y Jan-Sept(tonnes) % chg y/yU.S. 1.73 million 1,211% 10.15 million -38.5%Brazil 4.79 million -36.9% 45.19 million -9.8%
(Reporting by Hallie Gu, Min Zhang and Dominique Patton, additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)