Imports to China rose unexpectedly by 4% year-on-year to US$179.65 billion in April 2019, reversing a 7.6% fall in March. This was the first rise in inbound shipments in 5 months, as purchases of soybean jumped 10.7% to 7.64 million tons. Also, imports of crude oil surged 11% to a record high of 43.73 million tons. Total natural gas imports went up 12% to 7.65 million tons. In addition, imports of soybeans rose 10.7% to 7.64 million tons, with buyers delaying cargoes to arrive in April to take advantage of a cut in the VAT on agricultural products effective from 1st April. In contrast, iron ore imports fell to the lowest in 1-1/2 years, as poor weather in Brazil, the country’s second-largest supplier, disrupted shipments. Purchases grew from Japan (1.4%), the EU (4.4%), and the ASEAN countries (10.4%), while fell from the US (-25.7%), and South Korea (-2.4%)