While the demand for commodities in China without a doubt has been weak, that doesn't mean China isn't a buyer in this market, because it is.
What must be understood is the demand now isn't domestic or for exports, but from the fact the prices have fallen so much, China, as it has done historically, is buying up the resources at bargain prices.
When measured by customs data, there are at least 21 commodities China has increased imports in by over 20 percent in July, according to Reuters.
Agricultural imports were especially strong, "with wheat up 158 percent, barley by 67.9 percent, corn by 1,184 percent, cassava by 28.5 percent, rice by 78.2 percent, soy oil by 25.8 percent, palm oil by 53.3 percent, natural rubber by 70.1 percent and sugar by 72.7 percent."
Crude oil imports jumped 29.3 percent in July.
Metals were also strongly represented. Molybdenum imports climbed 139.8 percent; uranium was up 227 percent; zinc ores up 84.5 percent, and silver up 63.3 percent, among others.
Among major commodities, copper ore and concentrates increased 7.2 percent, and iron ore imports were up a modest 4.4 percent.
What was also interesting in this was China's decision to increase imports at a time its currency was extremely weak. While low prices were definitely a part of the impetus, a declining yuan also had to play a part. If the currency loses more value, the cost of imports would rise even if commodity prices remained stable.
It looks like China was pressed into acquiring the depressed commodities before its currency weakened further. Or course China knows what its policy is going to be, and it's possibly a nod to further debasing of its currency after it buys the commodities it wants at low prices.