August 23, 2017 / 5:14 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-China's July sugar imports slump to three-year low

(Adding details)

BEIJING, Aug 23 (Reuters) - China’s July sugar imports plunged for a second month to just 60,000 tonnes, the lowest in three years, after Beijing imposed hefty tariffs on foreign arrivals in late May and slashed import permits, customs data showed on Wednesday.

July imports SU-CN-IMP were down 86 percent from 420,000 tonnes a year ago, and down 57 percent from 140,000 tonnes last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday.

“Buyers are running out of quotas. Sugar imports for the next months of this year will remain at a low level,” said Zhan Xiao, analyst with Shanghai Buyun Investment Management, before the data release.

China has slashed permits for out-of-quota sugar imports to around 1 million tonnes, almost half of last year’s allowance, as it looks to curb imports that it says have damaged the domestic industry.

Beijing has also imposed extra tariffs on out-of-quota imports of the sweetener, following years of lobbying by domestic sugar mills.

Imports in the first seven months of this year fell to 1.47 million tonnes, down 15.7 percent year on year, according to the data. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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