November 23, 2017 / 7:40 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-China Oct sugar imports up over 60 pct y/y at 170,000 T -customs

(Adding background and details)

BEIJING, Nov 23 (Reuters) - China’s sugar imports climbed 60.6 percent in October from the year before to 170,000 tonnes, customs data showed on Thursday, while corn imports jumped to 70,000 tonnes.

October sugar imports SU-CN-IMP climbed from last year’s 105,042 tonnes, when high international prices hurt purchases.

Imports were also up 6 percent from last month’s 160,000 tonnes, the data showed.

Beijing has slashed permits for out-of-quota sugar imports and imposed extra tariffs on foreign arrivals earlier this year, following years of complaints by local mills.

The moves pushed down China’s sugar imports in the first 10 months this year by 26.3 percent year-on-year to 2 million tonnes, the data showed.

Corn imports CO-CN-IMP in October were way up from last year’s 14,464 tonnes, but down 72 percent from the 250,000 tonnes imported last month, according to the data.

China bought 2.35 million tonnes of corn in the first 10 months of the year, down 21.5 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Imports of the grain, used to feed China’s huge livestock sector, plunged in the second half of last year, after domestic supplies became much cheaper following an overhaul in farm policy.

But overseas purchases have recovered in recent months, with Chinese prices relatively high for much of this year amid healthy demand for animal feed and industrial processing. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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