May 8, 2019 / 6:07 AM / 15 days ago

Instant view: China's oil, coal, soybean imports rise in April from year before

(Reuters) - China’s imports of crude oil, coal and soybeans rose in April from the same month last year, while cargoes of iron ore and copper dropped, customs data showed on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Cranes unload coal from a cargo ship at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Commentary on copper:

VIVEK DHAR, ANALYST AT COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE

“April’s figures are a mixed bag and may point to further slowing economic growth in China after we saw signs of cooling momentum in March, but we need to wait for more figures to confirm that.

“You would expect imports of refined copper to be strong, given the restrictions on scrap imports, but they have slowed, as have imports of copper concentrate, though these may have been impacted by disruptions at MMG’s Las Bambas copper mine in Peru.”

Commentary on soybeans

XIE HUILAN, ANALYST AT COFEED

“Soybean arrivals were not that big in March. Many have moved shipments to April due to VAT rate adjustment ... Most of the cargoes were Brazilian beans. Some U.S. shipments were delayed as well,”

Commentary on crude oil

WANG ZHAO, HEAD OF CRUDE OIL RESEARCH AT SUBLIME CHINA INFORMATION CO

“The crude imports exceeded our expectations as both domestic refinery production and margins do not appear to support such high volumes of purchases. We may see stockpiles rising as state-run refiners pre-stocked supplies in April from Iran and the U.S. anticipating the impact of sanctions.”

ZHOU GUOXIAO, CRUDE OIL ANALYST AT JLC

“Buying by teapot (refiners) was really strong in April, and higher than what we have expected. They have scooped up volumes as global oil prices go up and prestocked as they prepare to ramp up production after maintenance.”

Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Joseph Radford

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