China may dial back soybean imports this summer as tight operating margins and lower soymeal prices hit processors, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country is expected to import 53-54 million metric tons of soybeans between April and September, the second half of the marketing year for the crop, slightly lower than previous forecasts, said Liu Ni, manager for oils and oilseeds information at state grain trader COFCO. Liu said Chinese crushers, which process soybeans into cooking oil and animal feed, are currently operating at around 40% of their processing capacity as costs outpace price growth. Low soybean inventories in the US should help to circumvent a sharp sell-off in soybean futures, despite decreasing demand from China, the global leader in soybean imports. Reports earlier this week said China had asked manufacturers to postpone price increases for cooking oil, the latest in a string of essential household products the government is targeting in an effort to calm inflation expectations.