(Adds comment on iron ore imports)
June 8 (Reuters) - China's imports of crude oil, copper, iron ore and soybeans rose in May on a month earlier, although coal imports fell, customs data showed on Thursday.
Copper: China imported 390,000 tonnes, versus 300,000 tonnes in April
Crude oil: China imported 37.20 million tonnes, versus 34.39 million tonnes in April
Iron ore: China imported 91.52 million tonnes, versus 82.23 million tonnes in April
Soybeans: China imported 9.59 million tonnes, versus 8.02 million tonnes in April
Coal: China imported 22.19 million tonnes, versus 24.78 million tonnes in April
Preliminary table of commodity trade data
Commentary on iron ore
WANG DI, ANALYST, CRU, BEIJING:
"I think the increase in May confirms that there were potential delays in customs shipments that led to the drop in April imports.
"Domestic demand is firm. Profitability at steel mills was good in May especially for rebar producers. I don't think there will be a slump in iron ore imports going forward because while inventory at ports is very high, inventory at mills is relatively low."
Commentary on copper
AMY LI, ECONOMIST, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK, MELBOURNE:
"Refined copper imports tend to increase when there is limited availability of concentrate, so the decrease in concentrate supply could be the result of a lingering effect from the strike in Chile and supply disruptions at Freeport in Indonesia.
"Hopefully all the supply issues will have been resolved by the June data and concentrate supply could go back to normal which may also limit imports of refined copper."
For details, see the official Customs website (www.customs.gov.cn)
China is the world's biggest net crude oil consumer and top buyer of copper, coal, iron ore and soy. (Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Richard Pullin)