China’s key commodity imports, including crude oil, copper and iron ore, all climbed in August from the previous month, adding to evidence that demand in world’s second-largest economy was still going strong despite the economic turmoil in the West. The wave of buying of oil and industrial commodities suggests that Chinese companies remain confident about the domestic economy and that they would likely see any price corrections as a rare restocking opportunity — a move which should offer strong support to commodity prices. With China’s inflation having pulled back in August from a three-year high, market watchers also expect the central bank to hold off further tightening measures, which could in turn ease the credit crunch and potentially draw producers and traders to import more raw materials. China imported 21.04 million tonnes of crude oil in August, up 1.8 per cent from the 20.66 million in the previous month, according to Reuters calculations using the revised July numbers. Although implied oil demand in August slipped to the lowest rate this year, plant maintenance and accidents were the main reasons behind the dip and traders generally expect demand to improve from September. “August-arrival crude cargoes were mostly loaded in June and July, when oil prices fluctuated a lot,” said a crude oil trader. Data from the General Administration of Customs also showed China’s iron ore imports in August jumped 33 per cent from a year ago to a five-month high of 59.09 million tonnes, thanks to the steel sector’s robust production.