INSTANT VIEW 3-China commodity imports fall in August from July

Sept 7 (Reuters) – China’s imports of major commodities including crude oil, iron ore and soybeans all fell in August from a month earlier.

KEY POINTS:

*Crude oil: Imports of 47.48 mln T vs 51.29 mln T in July

*Iron ore: Imports of 100.36 mln T vs 112.65 mln T in July

*Soybeans: Imports of 9.60 mln T vs 10.09 mln T in July

*Copper: Imports of 668,486 T vs 762,211 T in July

*Coal: Imports of 20.66 mln T vs 26.10 mln T in July

Preliminary table of commodity trade data

Comment on soy

DARIN FRIEDRICHS, SNR ASIA COMMODITY ANALYST, STONEX:

“There were some higher estimates closer to 10 million tonnes but Brazilian shipments have started to slow so I don’t think it’s surprising. It will slow a bit more next month as Brazilian shipments have now wrapped up.”

Comment on oil

LI YAN, ANALYST, LONGZHONG CONSULTANCY:

“Imports have started to ease off peak as oil prices rebounded and port congestion persisted. But it’s unlikely to see a sharp fall in the coming months as China’s fuel demand remains robust.

“As refineries gradually complete overhauls and refining profit margins steadily pick up amid the approach of the peak fuel consumption season in September-October, we expect crude oil imports to maintain at a relatively high level, but not as high as the level we saw in June-July.”

Comment on copper

HE TIANYU, ANALYST, CRU GROUP:

“Monthly imports are lower because the arbitrage window closed, and it is traditionally a weaker demand season in Q3. But August imports are still higher year-on-year, and last month’s base number is already pretty high. If the arbitrage window opens again, imports could increase again.”

Comment on iron ore

TANG BINGHUA, ANALYST, FOUNDER CIFCO FUTURES:

“The drop in iron ore imports in August was partly due to fewer shipments from big miners after the financial year in Australia, while port congestion in China due to the coronavirus-related restrictions also delayed some customs clearance. But overall imports were still higher compared with last year and supplies from Brazil have risen recently.”

LINKS: For details, see the official Customs website (www.customs.gov.cn) BACKGROUND: China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top buyer of copper, coal, iron ore and soybeans. (Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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