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UPDATE 1-China July copper imports rise over 8 pct as credit woes ease

* July imports of unwrought copper total 390,000 T -customs

* Year-to-date imports down around 15 pct

* Soaring global copper price could crimp China demand for imports (Adds detail, outlook for rest of year)

BEIJING, Aug 8 (Reuters) - China's imports of copper and copper products rose around 8 percent in July from last year as the availability of credit improved, even as concerns lingered about manufacturing activity in the world's No.2 economy, according to Reuters calculations.

For July, arrivals of unwrought copper totalled 390,000 tonnes, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Tuesday.

That's up 8.3 percent from a year ago and unchanged for a third straight month on a month-on-month basis, according to Reuters calculations. Customs does not provide a percentage change for the monthly totals.

Year-to-date imports were 2.62 million tonnes, down 15.2 percent from a year earlier, customs said. That includes anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products.

China has imported less refined copper this year as buyers turned instead to cheaper scrap metal after a recovery in copper prices prompted a flood of scrap into the market.

Soaring prices on the London Metal Exchange may curb Chinese appetite for foreign metal in the coming months. LME prices hit two-year highs around $6,430 per tonne on Monday, having jumped 7 percent over the past two weeks.

China's copper concentrate imports stood at 1.4 million tonnes, customs said. That's almost unchanged from June's 1.41 million tonnes and up just 2.2 percent from 1.38 million tonnes in July 2016. Purchases were hit earlier in the year by mining outages.

Demand for metals could also be hit over the rest of the year as authorities move to tackle property market risks and credit growth, though they are treading cautiously to avoid hurting the economy.

The country exported 440,000 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, including primary, alloy and semi-finished aluminium products, in July, customs said.

That's down 4.3 percent from June's 460,000 tonnes, which was the second-highest on record and up 12.8 percent from 390,000 tonnes in July last year, according to Reuters calculations.

For the year-to-date, exports were up 6.8 percent at 2.85 million tonnes.

For more details, click on (Reporting by Josephine Mason and Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Joseph Radford)