Sunday, 20 May, 2018

China stops United States sorghum probe as trade talks continue

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss trade issues on May 17 Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss trade issues on May 17
Russell Knight | 18 May, 2018, 17:30

China announced last month that it was slapping provisional anti-dumping duties on United States sorghum imports, ordering importers to pay Chinese customs a deposit amounting to 178.6 percent of the value of sorghum brought in.

"According to my information, the consultation is still underway and it is constructive", said spokesman Lu Kang at a regular news conference.

The Commerce Ministry announced the halt Friday, saying punitive measures on imports of the grain would "affect the cost of living for consumers" in China.

The announcement was a doable signal Beijing is prepared to make a take care of Washington amid talks between senior US and Chinese language officers geared toward averting a commerce conflict between the world's two greatest economies.

The ministry said it would return the deposits it had collected.

Shipping containers are seen at Nansha terminal of Guangzhou port, in Guangdong province, China, June 14, 2017.

In the middle of its investigation, the ministry concluded that, "Anti-dumping and countervailing measures towards imported sorghum originating in the U.S. would have an effect on the price of dwelling of a majority of customers and wouldn't be within the public curiosity", in response to a discover posted on its web site.

Higher tariffs for U.S. sorghum would have hurt farmers in states such as Kansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma, which are also major Republican-leaning states that make up President Donald Trump's base.

A high-level Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He is now in Washington for trade negotiations with the US.

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"The United States officials and the Chinese delegation also participated in a meeting with President Donald J Trump at the White House".

The U.S. goods deficit was $375 billion previous year.

That top-line number in the Chinese offer would largely match a request presented to Chinese officials by Trump administration officials in Beijing two weeks ago.

China first launched the probe into state support for US sorghum producers in February, and made a preliminary ruling against American imports on April 18.

The deposit scheme brought trade to a halt and disrupted supply chains worldwide, with nearly two dozen ships carrying US sorghum stranded at sea, as merchants and buyers scrambled to sell cargoes at big discounts elsewhere.

The United States shipped 4.76 million tonnes of sorghum to China in 2017, worth about $1.1 billion, accounting for the bulk of Chinese imports of the grain used in animal feed and Chinese liquor.

"China has taught a lesson to the United States and showed how it can hurt US exports", said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "The next USA sorghum crop will be harvested in August", Houe said.

"Now they are showing goodwill by halting its anti-dumping investigation into sorghum imports, but it is a cheap way of showing goodwill as the United States doesn't have much sorghum left to export".

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