Sept 7 (Reuters) - China’s imports of copper, crude oil, iron ore and soybeans fell in August from a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday, while natural gas imports rose. KEY POINTS: * China August crude oil imports down 6.2% yoy at 44.53 mln T * China August soybean imports down 1.1% yoy at 9.49 mln T * China August natural gas imports up 11.5% yoy at 10.44 mln T * China August iron ore imports down 2.9% yoy at 97.49 mln T * China August unwrought copper imports down 41% yoy at 394,017 T
Preliminary table of commodity trade data TRADE/CN Below are comments from analysts on the commodities data.
Comment on iron ore (up 10.1% on July)
ATILLA WIDNELL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NAVIGATE COMMODITIES:
“It’s unsurprising to see a rebound in China’s iron ore imports, given the impressive recovery in Brazilian run rates over the past eight weeks.
“However, increasing imports is not a function of stronger Chinese consumption - purely improving supply. Larger iron ore arrivals have resulted in the expansion of port inventories above 131 million tonnes, due to the government-mandated reduction in steel output capping iron ore consumption.”
Comment on copper:
ANNA STABLUM, COMMODITIES BROKER, MAREX SPECTRON:
“Chinese customers are not willing to buy copper at these prices. We saw buying below $9,000 a tonne, but anything above seems pretty expensive.”
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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