* China April soy imports at 6.5 mln T, highest so far this year
* Imports could slow from June -analysts
* Beijing to sell state soy stocks from next week (Adds comment, detail)
BEIJING, May 8 (Reuters) - Chinese imports of soybeans hit their highest so far this year in April, climbing 63.5 percent from the same month in 2013, official customs data showed on Thursday.
Imports by the world’s biggest soybean buyer stood at 6.5 million tonnes in April, up 41 percent from March’s 4.62 million tonnes. Growth was helped by more imports from Brazil, China’s top supplier, after port congestion last year delayed shipments.
The April numbers bring the country’s total imports in the first four months of 2014 to 21.85 million tonnes, up 41.2 percent on a year earlier, said the General Administration of Customs.
“There are no logistics problem in Brazil, not like last year. We expect imports to slow down from June after buyers earlier cancelled cargoes over negative margins,” said Li Lifeng, an analyst with industry portal www.cofeed.com.
Excessive imports coupled with poor crushing margins have led some buyers to try to cancel or default on cargoes.
But a rebound in domestic soymeal prices <0#DSM:> has narrowed crusher losses to about 200 yuan ($32.08) for processing one tonne of beans into meal and edible oil. That compares with 300-400 yuan per tonne losses in the first quarter, analysts said.
The crushing margin should improve in two to three months, Bunge Ltd’s chief executive officer has said.
“All the cargoes that Chinese importers booked aggressively in the past months are arriving now ... But this is creating a glut of beans in the domestic market ... From June onwards imports should start declining,” said Vanessa Tan, analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
Beijing’s plan to start state soy sales from next week will add to the country’s soy glut. The government will offer 300,000 tonnes of soybeans from state reserves on Tuesday.
$1 = 6.2343 Yuan Reporting by Niu Shuping and David Stanway in Beijing, additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore,; Editing by Ed Davies and Joseph Radford