Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

In Latest Trade Salvo, China Imposes 179 Percent Tariff On US Sorghum

In Latest Trade Salvo, China Imposes 179 Percent Tariff On US Sorghum

Carmakers complied because they gained access to China's populous market, which passed the United States in 2009 as the world's biggest by number of vehicles sold.

Chinese officials said the new measure was the result of a months-long investigation that concluded US sorghum was being dumped on the Chinese market.

Soybeans were the biggest USA agricultural export to China a year ago at a value of $12 billion.

USA authorities are considering increasing pressure on China in the trade war as retaliatory action in response to China's limitations on United States tech companies.

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The decision to hit USA sorghum with tariffs does not violate worldwide law, said Wang Hejun, head of the commerce ministry's trade remedy and investigation bureau.

While this sorghum import charge could heighten tensions between the US and China, another Chinese decision announced Tuesday might soften the blow a little. China placed retaliatory duties on more than 100 U.S. imports, including pork, fruit and wine, soon after.

Other companies likely to be affected are Archer Daniels Midland - a top seller of USA sorghum into China - along with Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said the company is analysing how this will impact ADM and what actions the company will take, both from a business and legal perspective. "We do not believe that exporter-specific cost and price calculations were adequately considered, or that the proposed remedies are warranted". CHS and Dreyfus declined to comment.

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China is the largest buyer of USA sorghum - grown mostly in the rural American South, a region that voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 election.

Curbing imports of grains is considered one of the most powerful weapons Beijing can use in the trade row. It is the latest shot by Beijing at its top trading partner in a mounting trade spat, likely aimed at major American farm states that backed U.S. President Donald Trump.

The NBS said there had been more supporting factors in the first quarter for China to achieve high-quality growth.

The Chinese government has also threatened a 25% tariff on soybeans, a much more significant crop for USA farmers.

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The scale of China's deposit devastated traders who had rushed to increase imports prior to the ruling. A trader with an worldwide firm estimated there are more than two million of tonnes of sorghum on the water heading for China. A source at another global trading house said the sector had expected a lower deposit, close to 35 percent.

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