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This is working as designed and you need to change the method you are using for your maintenance import.
The initial import to add a new product needs to include everything including the image. It is used once to put a previously nonexistent product into Magento and once that is done, you don’t reimport everything plus the kitchen sink just to make minor product changes. If you do, then you overwrite everything and reimport your images, a waste of time and diskspace.
Product maintenance imports need only to have the 3 basic key columns for the product which are sku, store, type and then the additional columns where you need the changes. So, let’s say that you want to make changes to price and product name. You will produce a file like the following for your product import (make sure your store column matches your store the product is associated with and the csv is encoded UTF-8):
“PROD1”,"admin”,"simple","Totally Excellent Product 1”,"10.05"
“PROD2”,"admin”,"simple","Not So Excellent Product 2”,"5.85"
Do this only for the products that have been changed and the columns and import it using the “Import All Products” profile