WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the Nov. 13 Oil Crops Outlook, raised its forecast of China’s imports of soybeans in the 2012-13 marketing year to a record 63 million tonnes, up 2 million tonnes from its October forecast.

Expectations of more Chinese soybean imports were based on prospects for decreased domestic oilseed production and continuing steady growth in meat consumption as Chinese incomes grow. Soybean meal is an important ingredient in cattle and swine feed.

The projected import total continued the trend of growing Chinese imports of soybeans in recent years and was an increase of 3.8 million tonnes, or 6%, from 59.2 million tonnes in 2011-12, the U.S.D.A. said. China’s soybean imports have increased every marketing year since 2005-06.

As of Nov. 1, U.S. exports and undelivered sales of soybean to China totaled 16 million tonnes, up 29% from 13.3 million tonnes in the same week a year ago.

”Although recent purchases of U.S. soybeans have slowed, outstanding sales commitments as of Nov. 1 were 2.7 million tonnes ahead of last year’s sales due to a heavy round of buying last summer,” the U.S.D.A. said.