* December soybean imports rise 6 pct yr-on-yr to 9.55 mln T
* Demand typically picks up ahead of Lunar New Year
* Total 2017 imports hit annual record of 95.54 mln T (Adds comment, detail)
BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Chinese imports of soybeans jumped to the second-highest volume on record in December, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data, boosted by strong demand in the run-up to next month's Lunar New Year holiday.
December imports by the world's top soy buyer came in at 9.55 million tonnes, up 10 percent from the month before and up 6 percent from December, 2016, according to calculations based on annual data released on Friday by the General Administration of Customs. <SB-CN-IMP>
China's imports of the oilseed for all of 2017 hit an annual record of 95.54 million tonnes, up 13.9 percent from the previous year, the customs data showed.
"Demand is usually strong in December as feed producers build up stocks a couple of months before Spring Festival. Crushing margins are good too, supporting robust demand from crushers," said Tian Hao, senior analyst with First Futures.
The Spring Festival holiday, or Lunar New Year, will start on Feb. 15. It is China's biggest holiday and the peak season for meat demand.
China imports soybeans to crush into soymeal, a key ingredient in animal feed for the nation, which holds the world's biggest herd of pigs.
Soybean crushing margins have remained healthy since early August, fueling appetite for more imports despite delays in getting import certificates. <JCI-SBMG-SHDNI>
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)