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China's soybean imports from Brazil plunge in August - customs

BEIJING, Sept 20 (Reuters) - China's soybean imports from Brazil plunged in August from a year ago, customs data showed on Tuesday, as high prices capped purchases of the oilseed from the South American nation.

Imports from smaller suppliers like Uruguay and the United States both increased, however.

China, the world's top soybean buyer, imported 6.25 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in August, down from 9.04 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Total imports last month plunged 25% from a year before to 7.17 million tonnes, the lowest for August since 2014, as high global prices and weak demand curbed appetite for the oilseed, customs data showed earlier.

Summer arrivals are typically dominated by Brazilian origin beans, but bad weather pushed up prices of the oilseed in the South American country at a time when Chinese demand was poor.

Demand for soymeal from the feed sector has been weak after hog farmers made huge losses earlier this year.

Arrivals from the United States, China's No. 2 supplier, reached 286,762 tonnes, up from 17,575 tonnes in the same month last year, according to customs data.

China also imported 350,342 tonnes from Uruguay and 197,770 tonnes from Argentina in August, compared with zero cargoes from either a year ago.

For the first eight months of the year, China brought in 40.93 million tonnes of Brazilian beans, down from 43.05 million tonnes in the same period of 2021.

Imports from the United States for January to August came in at 18.21 million tonnes, down from 21.63 million tonnes the previous year.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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