* Soy imports hit highest in 7 yrs for month of Feb
* Crushing demand still "quite strong" -analyst
* China is world's top soybean buyer
(Adds comment, detail)
BEIJING, March 8 Soy imports by China, the
world's largest buyer of the oilseed, climbed 23 percent
year-on-year in February to mark the highest level for that
month since at least 2010 at 5.54 million tonnes, customs data
showed on Wednesday.
Imports were down around 28 percent from 7.66 million tonnes
in January, however, according to the figures from the General
Administration of Customs of China.
"Crushing demand is still quite strong and crushing capacity
has kept expanding, which is a continuation of the trend in
January," said Monica Tu, an analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence
"But still the figures are lower than what the market
expected. Probably because some goods got delayed when going
through customs," she added.
China's soybean imports for January and February this year
totalled 13.19 million tonnes, up 30 percent from last year's
10.17 million tonnes. That was the biggest volume since at least
February imports of vegetable oils dropped just over a
quarter from the previous month to 410,000 tonnes, the customs
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Joseph