US Raises Tariffs on Chinese Minor Metals, Ferro-Alloys to 25%

US tariffs on a number of Chinese minor metals and ferro-alloys have been increased to 25%, affecting shipments of material from China from today, Friday May 10.

Minor metals and ferro-alloys affected by the latest tariffs include: bismuth, cadmium, gallium, germanium, germanium dioxide, selenium, tellurium, silicon, magnesium, mercury, arsenic, rhenium, hafnium, ferro-tungsten, ferro-vanadium, ferro-silicon, ferro-manganese, vanadium pentoxide, titanium, cobalt sulfate, cobalt metal and cobalt tetroxide.

Tariffs of 10% were originally introduced in September last year, with an increase to 25% due in January, unless the United States and China reached a deal. The increase was delayed earlier this year amid continuing negotiations between the two countries.

Activity in the minor metals markets has slowed since late last year, pending clarity from the US President Donald Trump’s administration as to whether the tariffs would be increased to 25%.

Prices have been broadly stable as a result, though with expectation of some further weakness should Chinese producers have to cut their offers in order to compete in the US markets.

The US first imposed sweeping tariffs under Section 232 on $60 billion of Chinese products in March last year, including 25% duties on steel and 10% on aluminium.

Three months later, it imposed a 25% tariff on a further $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, and then on August 7, 2018, unveiled a list of $16 billion worth of Chinese imports to be hit with another 25% tariff.

Throughout this process, China has resolutely met each US tariff with one of its own against imports of American goods.