July 29, 2019 / 12:44 AM / a year ago

RPT-China's June soy imports from U.S. fall 2.5% on year amid renewed tension

 (Repeats item issued earlier)
    BEIJING, July 27 (Reuters) - China's soybean imports from
the United States fell 2.5% in June compared with the same month
a year earlier, customs data showed on Saturday, as renewed
trade tensions between Beijing and Washington curbed buying.
    China brought in 614,805 tonnes of soybeans from the United
States, down 2.5% from June 2018. The figures were also down 37%
from 977,024 tonnes in May.
    The fall in imports also came as an outbreak of African
swine fever disease swept the country, ravaging China's huge pig
herd, leading to the death or culling of millions of hogs and a
slide in demand for soymeal feed.
    China's June soybean imports from top supplier Brazil also
fell 29.9% from the previous year, to 5.5 million tonnes. The
figures were down from 6.3 million tonnes in May. 
    The United States was the second-largest supplier of
soybeans to China before the trade war, but imports from the
country fell sharply after Beijing slapped tariffs of 25% on
U.S. cargoes. 
    Chinese state firms resumed some purchases of U.S. cargoes
following a trade truce last December, but buying ebbed after
tension escalated again in May.
    Beijing briefed private importers last Friday on a plan to
boost purchases of U.S. supplies, in an apparent goodwill
gesture to Washington. But there have been no apparent signs of
recent sales.
    The table below shows China's soybean imports from Brazil
and the United States in June 2019, according to data released
by the General Administration of Customs on Saturday. 
 Origin    June        % change y/y  Year-to-date  % change y/y
           2019(tonne                (tonnes)      
 United    614,805     -2.5          5,901,802     -62.6
 Brazil    5,498,143   -29.9         27,298,722    -0.8

 (Reporting by Hallie Gu, Stella Qiu, Shivani Singh; Editing by
Mark Potter)
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