BEIJING, April 13 (Reuters) - China’s soybean imports fell in March from a year ago to 5.67 million tonnes, in line with market expectations as demand usually eases after the Lunar New Year festival, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Friday.
The decline also came as trade tensions between China and the United States escalated last month. Beijing announced last week it would slap a 25 percent import duty on soybeans from the United States in response to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports.
China’s March imports were down 10 percent from last year’s 6.327 million tonnes, but were higher than last month’s 5.424 million tonnes, according to Reuters calculation based on the data.
China’s week-long Lunar New Year holiday fell later this year, in mid-February.
China’s soy imports SB-CN-IMP in the first three months of the year rose 0.2 percent to 19.57 tonnes, driven by healthy demand from the livestock industry and good crush margins, customs data showed. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; editing by Richard Pullin)