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(Updating with Sept number)
BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - China imported 24.26 million tonnes of coal in September, up more than a third from a year ago, customs data showed on Thursday, as government-enforced mine closures forced utilities and steel mills to buy more foreign raw material.
For the year to date, imports increased 15.2 percent to 180 million tonnes.
The monthly total was up from 17.7 million tonnes last year but down from August's total of more than 26 million tonnes, which was the highest in nearly two years.
The pace of buying may not continue into October after Beijing allowed domestic mines to ramp up output after inventories fell to critically low levels and prices spiked.
For a table of China's commodity trade summary, click Reporting by Josephine Mason and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Richard Pullin