BEIJING, Feb 8 (Reuters) - China, the world’s top soy buyer, imported 8.48 million tonnes of soybeans in January, up 10.7 percent on a year ago, customs data showed on Thursday, as crushers looked to meet expected healthy demand for soymeal from the hog sector.
While the January arrivals SB-CN-IMP were up on last year’s 7.655 million tonnes, they were below the previous month’s 9.547 million tonnes, as some cargoes may have been delayed after Beijing tightened specifications on imports of the oilseed amid rising Sino-U.S. trade tension.
“Crushers booked a lot of cargoes in advance as crush margins were pretty good a couple of months back. Demand was strong in January in the run-up to Spring Festival,” Tian Hao, senior analyst with First Futures, said before the data came out.
But tougher approval process for imports might have affected arrivals, Tian added. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason Editing by Joseph Radford)