(Adds comment on iron ore imports)
July 13 (Reuters) - China's imports of crude oil and soybeans fell in June, while iron ore imports edged higher and copper imports were flat, customs data showed on Thursday.
KEY POINTS: (Monthly figures based on Reuters calculations from half-year data provided by customs)
Copper: China imported 390,000 tonnes, versus 390,000 tonnes in May
Crude oil: China imported 35.69 million tonnes, versus 37.20 million tonnes in May
Iron ore: China imported 94.43 million tonnes, versus 91.52 million tonnes in May
Soybeans: China imported 7.69 million tonnes, versus 9.59 million tonnes in May
Preliminary table of commodity trade data
Commentary on copper
"It is slightly better than my expectations. China did not import a lot of cathodes in the first four months (because of restrictions getting dollar-denominated creditlines). For July I think it should continue to improve. I have heard from traders there is some appetite for dollar cathodes for end of July so I would think that July imports will be slightly better because state companies have access to the second half of this year’s credit."
Commentary on oil
NEIL BEVERIDGE, SENIOR OIL AND GAS ANALYST, SANFORD C. BERNSTEIN, HONG KONG:
"We are definitely seeing robust demand growth, driven by low oil prices and growth in SUVs. The very strong import growth is partly being helped by declining domestic production."
Commentary on soybeans
"June imports were lower than expected. The market expected the imports to be over 8.5 million tonnes at least. It was mainly due to congestion at major ports along the coast. Crushers have very high stocks so they had to delay discharging the soybeans. Also many were probably waiting to discharge after July 1st, due to the change of VAT policy."
For details, see the official Customs website (www.customs.gov.cn)
China is the world's biggest net crude oil consumer and top buyer of copper, coal, iron ore and soy. (Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Richard Pullin)