August 23, 2018 / 5:58 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-China July grains imports fall sharply after U.S. tariffs

(Corrects to show 405,000 tonnes of sorghum imports were for June, not last month, in third paragraph)

BEIJING, Aug 23 (Reuters) - China’s grains imports fell sharply in July after Beijing imposed hefty tariffs on shipments from the United States amid a deepening trade conflict, customs data showed on Thursday.

China brought in 220,000 tonnes of sorghum in July, down 62.5 percent from 588,364 tonnes a year ago, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

The figures were also below June’s 450,000 tonnes, when buyers scooped up U.S. cargos amid a temporary easing of Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

The customs figures do not give a country by country breakdown, but China buys almost all its sorghum imports from the United States.

Thursday’s data also showed China bought 330,000 tonnes of corn in July, down 63.7 percent from last year.

China shipped in 140,000 tonnes of wheat and 600,000 tonnes of barley in July, according to the data.

China’s pork imports in July were at 88,163 tonnes while sugar imports in the same month rallied more than 300 percent to 250,000 tonnes, the data showed.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; editing by Richard Pullin

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