BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) - China’s sugar imports in September fell 67.5 percent from a year earlier to 160,000 tonnes, as hefty tariffs on foreign arrivals continued to dent buying appetite, customs data showed on Monday, while corn imports rose sharply to meet a temporary tightness in supply.
Sugar imports SU-CN-IMP in the first nine months of this year fell to 1.83 million tonnes, down 29.8 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs said.
Beijing has slashed permits for out-of-quota sugar imports to around 1 million tonnes, almost half of last year’s allowance. It also imposed extra tariffs on sugar imports after lobbying by domestic mills, all part of its efforts to curb imports that it says have damaged the domestic industry.
That led imports in July to just 60,000 tonnes, the lowest in three years. September imports were also down 20 percent from last month’s 200,000 tonnes.
Corn imports CO-CN-IMP in September were up over 13 fold on the year, at 250,000 tonnes, as buyers snapped up grain from overseas amid temporary tightness in supply at home.
They were down 33.7 percent from the prior month’s 377,518 tonnes, the data showed. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)