How Chinese tariffs on U.S. imports will stand after Feb 14 cuts



Chen Aizhu | CNBC

China is preparing to halve the extra tariffs on U.S goods that went into effect last September, including on crude oil, soybeans, pork and beef. The reductions, due to come into force at 1:01 p.m. local time (0501 GMT) on Feb. 14, are the first round of tariff cuts by China since the two countries signed a Phase 1 trade deal on Jan 15.

The halving applies only to the additional tariffs imposed by Beijing in September, and not to the total duties on goods built up since 2018 during the trade war. It will see total tariffs on soybeans fall to 27.5% from 30%, total duties on pork drop to 55% from 60% and those on beef do down to 30% from 35%. Tariffs for U.S. crude oil, which was first targeted in September, will be reduced to 2.5% from 5%. Below is a list and timeline showing how China’s tariffs on key U.S. commodities and energy items stand after the Phase 1 accord.

CRUDE OIL China, the world’s biggest crude importer, has cut U.S. shipments from a record high in 2018. Chinese imports from the United States were nearly halved in 2019 to 6.35 million tonnes, with no imports in December.

PROPANE Chinese firms process U.S. propane into petrochemicals such as propylene. Imports from the United States fell to 2,443 tonnes last year, from 1.5 million tonnes in 2018. Beijing has already scrapped an additional 5% tariff on U.S. propane shipments that was set to take effect from Dec. 1, 2019.

LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) Imports of the super-chilled fuel from the United States stood at 258,955 tonnes in 2019, far lower than the 2.15 million tonnes imported in 2018, according to Chinese customs. This is, however, a fraction of China’s total LNG imports in 2019 of 60.25 million tonnes.

METHANOL, ETHYLENE GLYCOL (MEG) Imports of U.S. methanol in 2019 dropped to 113 tonnes, compared with 75,118 tonnes in 2018. China imported only 84,610 tonnes of U.S. MEG last year, compared with 147,890 tonnes in 2018. These were also a tiny part of China’s total 2019 methanol imports at 9.95 million tonnes and MEG imports of 9.03 million tonnes.

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