UPDATE 1-China's October imports of soybean are lowest in eight years
BEIJING, Nov 7 (Reuters) -
China's imports of soybean fell 19% in October from a year earlier to 4.14 million tonnes, customs data showed on Monday, hitting their lowest since 2014, after buyers cut purchases amid high global prices and poor crush margins.
Imports by the world's top buyer of the oilseed were 73.18 million tonnes for the first 10 months of the year, down 7.4% from last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
The very low shipments, matching the October 2014 figure of 4.1 million tonnes, underline an urgent need to rebuild stockpiles.
Global soybean prices hit a decade-high in June as bad weather cut production in Brazil, China's top supplier.
The high prices and lacklustre demand for animal feed from the livestock sector this year blunted appetite for purchases of soybean over the summer, leaving China short of supplies now that hog profits have recovered.
Soybeans are crushed to make animal feed.
Cash soymeal prices touched records in recent weeks on tight supply. In the top hog-raising province of Sichuan, prices <JCI-SBM-CHDU> reached 5,850 yuan ($810.78) a tonne last week, up 26% in two months. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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