China imported 6.97 million tons of edible oil in the first 10 months of 2007, a growth of 26.6 percent over the same period of the previous year.
The imports were valued at 4.99 billion U.S. dollars, up 98.6 percent.
Customs sources said the import increase was partly a result of government incentive of scrapping import quota system for edible oil at the beginning of 2006.
The impressive surge in import value was directly due to price hikes, the sources added.
For instance, palm oil imports were priced at 706.1 U.S. dollars per ton on average, up 60.2 percent, and soybean oil was valued at 727.6 dollars per ton, up 44.9 percent.
According to customs data, between January and October 2007, foreign-funded companies imported 3.76 million tons of edible oil, or 54 percent of China's total imports of such products. The amount was 50.6 percent higher than the same period of the previous year.
The 10-month period also saw state-owned enterprises to import 1.83 million tons of edible oil, up 8.9 percent, and private businesses, 1.16 million tons, up 17.1 percent.
Of the total edible oil arrivals, 4.3 million tons, or 61.7 percent, were imported from the ASEAN members, up 1.9 percent, 1.83 million tons from Argentina, up 84.1 percent, 290,000 tons from Canada, as against less than 10,000 tons for the same period of 2006.