UPDATE 1-China's soybean crush margin to stay positive -Wilmar
* China's soybean market seen slower over next 1-2 years
* China's austerity drive seen weighing on its soybean demand (Adds quotes, details)
By Rujun Shen
SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - China's soybean crush margins are expected to stay positive from now on due to the recent drop in imports, said the chief executive of one of the world's top buyers of the oilseed, Wilmar International Ltd.
China's overseas purchases of soybeans have dropped to "much more normal" levels, Kuok Khoon Hong said on Friday, adding that margins would, however, be determined by market volatility.
The country, which buys more than 60 percent of the oilseed traded worldwide, imported 6.88 million tonnes of soybeans in January, down from record high arrivals of 8.53 million tonnes in December, customs data shows.
China's soybean processing margins CNSOY-RZO-MRG have been mostly positive this year after a sharp drop in December.
The country will make a seasonal shift to import cheaper Brazilian soybeans in the coming months after shipping mainly U.S. cargoes since the last quarter.
Brazil and Argentina are on track for a record production, following an all-time high output in the United States last year, which is expected to keep a lid on prices. Continuación...