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Instant View: China's iron ore, copper imports rise in September from August

(Reuters) - China’s imports of major commodities including iron ore, copper, oil and soybeans rose in September from a month earlier. Coal imports eased.

FILE PHOTO: A truck transports a container next to a cargo vessel at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

KEY POINTS:

*Crude oil: Imports of 48.48 mln T vs 47.48 mln T in July

*Iron ore: Imports of 108.55 mln T vs 100.36 mln T in July

*Soybeans: Imports of 9.79 mln T vs 9.60 mln T in July

*Copper: Imports of 722,450 T vs 668,486 T in July

*Coal: Imports of 18.68 mln T vs 20.66 mln T in July

Preliminary table of commodity trade data <TRADE/CN>

Comment on iron ore

RICHARD LU, SENIOR ANALYST, CRU, BEIJING:

“Some iron ore shipments that were previously in congestion at Chinese ports got cleared in September, in part contributing to higher import figures in the month.

“Overall shipments from (Australia and Brazil) are strong in the September-October period based on our tracking, meaning a high likelihood of sufficient supply in the coming month.”

Comment on soybeans

XIE HUILAN, ANALYST, COFEED:

“Some cargoes were delayed earlier and cleared customs in September. The shipments were still mainly from Brazil, though Brazilian cargoes were expected to fall as the harvest there approached its end while U.S. beans should rise in coming months.”

Comment on crude oil

CHEN JIYAO, HEAD OF CHINA CLIENT ADVISORY, FGE:

“As the impact from typhoon gradually subsided from seond-half of September, discharging and clearance of inbound crude cargoes picked up pace. Port operations should continue at high capacity in the near-term. This coupled with reduced inbound flows of fresh cargoes should further draw down floating storage in the coming weeks.”

SENG YICK TEE, SENIOR DIRECTOR, SIA ENERGY:

“Independents (teapots and mega private petchem refineries) remained the main drivers of China’s crude imports in September. In contrast to strong imports growth in the second and third quarters, China’s crude imports growth is likely to be muted in 4Q20 due to historical high crude inventories and a higher import base recorded in 4Q19.”

LINKS:

For details, see the official Customs website (www.customs.gov.cn)

BACKGROUND:

China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top buyer of copper, coal, iron ore and soybeans.

Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Richard Pullin

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