Over 17 percent of the food China bought or sold internationally last year came from or went to Brazil, meaning Brazil was the main food trading partner of China, the China News Service reports.

The Chinese state-owned news agency quotes the head of the statistics division at the Chinese customs service, Gao Jibo, as saying so at a food exhibition on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

Mr Gao said the value of Sino-Brazilian trade in food was 217.26 billion yuan (about US$31.52 billion) last year.

He said the biggest Brazilian import from China was seafood and fish, while the biggest Chinese import from Brazil was soybeans.

The value of Chinese foreign trade in food rose to 1.25 trillion yuan last year, 4.9 percent more than the year before, 458.6 billion yuan worth being exports and 791.86 billion yuan worth being imports, the China News Service says.