China To Keep Ferro-Alloys, Metals Tariffs In 2020

The Chinese government is maintaining its export duties on the main ferro-alloys for 2020.

Beijing will keep a 20pc export tariff on ferro-alloys including ferro-manganese, silicon-manganese, ferro-silicon and pig iron, the country’s ministry of finance said. The duty on ferro-chrome will be unchanged at 15pc.

Although many domestic producers have been calling on the government to reduce or cancel the duties, Beijing has opted to keep the duties as it aims to curb production of energy-sensitive and polluting products.

The ministry of finance had verbally notified ferro-alloy producers last month that the export duty would not be reduced. This followed a request to the government in September by China’s chamber of commerce of metals minerals and chemicals importers and exporters and the main ferro-silicon suppliers.

Beijing in 2017 cut the export tariff for ferro-silicon by 5pc to 20pc as China’s exports lost their competitiveness in the global market. The cut boosted China’s exports by 94pc from a year earlier to 373,319t in 2017.

China cancelled its export tariffs on manganese, tungsten, molybdenum and rare earths in 2015 in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that the country’s export restrictions breached the organisation’s rules.

The government in December 2018 also removed silicon-chrome, ferro-titanium, ferro-silicon-titanium, ferro-niobium and ferro-vanadium with a 75pc maximum vanadium content from the 2019 export duty list, while it reduced their duties to 10pc in 2018 from 15pc in 2017.

China in 2020 will also keep a 30pc duty on zinc and lead concentrates, along with a 20pc duty on concentrates of tin, antimony and tungsten. It had cancelled in December 2018 the 10pc duty on concentrates of silver, uranium, zirconium and titanium. Beijing in 2020 will continue to impose a 15pc duty on unwrought nickel, aluminium, zinc and copper.

The duty on antimony metal will be unchanged at 5pc.The country’s legitimate antimony exports have returned to normal since September last year as Beijing adopted measures to curb unauthorised trades. Exports during January-September this year totalled 9,516t, up by 16pc from a year earlier.

Import duties maintained

The Chinese government will keep its import duties unchanged on most nonferrous metals and ferro-alloys in 2020.

Beijing will keep a 2pc import tariff on a number of battery materials including cobalt tetroxide, cobalt hydroxide, carbonate and oxide, nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate, lithium carbonate and lithium cobalt oxide, the ministry of finance said. Duties on lithium and calcium metals will be unchanged at 1pc.

China will continue to impose a 1pc import duty on some ferro-alloys such as ferro-molybdenum, ferro-tungsten and ferro-chrome with carbon content below 4pc, while it will remove the 1pc duty on ferro-niobium in 2020.

Imports of rare earth metals and oxides will remain exempt from duties next year. China’s January-October imports from the US of rare earth metal ores and concentrates rose by 75pc from a year earlier to 37,637t. It also imported 10,501t of rare earth carbonate ores from Myanmar (Burma). China is forecast to import 75,000-80,000t of rare earth ores and concentrates in 2019.

Beijing will maintain a 1pc import duty on unwrought antimony, bismuth, niobium, zinc and nickel metals. The tariffs on spodumene, ferro-nickel, vanadium-nitrogen alloy, ferro-chrome with carbon content above 4pc and copper metal will be still zero.