China’s anti-dumping duties on U.S. products appear to be an attempt at misdirection. Data from the U.S. General Administration of Customs lifts the fog of perception and diplomatic posturing.
Data from the General Administration of Customs have revealed that China’s import of U.S. sorghum rose sharply in April from a year earlier, ahead of its imposition of anti-dumping duties.
In April 2018, China imported 640,000 tonnes of sorghum, up by 87% from a year earlier.
In April 17, China announced the slapping of anti-dumping duties on U.S. sorghum following two months of investigations.
Incidentally, China imports nearly all of its sorghum from the U.S.
Import of sorghum in April 2018, was up by 12.3% from last month’s 570,014 tonnes.
Last week, in a strategic move aimed at inducing goodwill towards lifting of the U.S. imposed ban on ZTE, China dropped the U.S. sorghum investigation as well as the anti-dumping duties it had slapped earlier.
Shipments of barley, used in feed and brewing, and an alternative to sorghum, rose 2.6 pct from last year’s 1.1 million tonnes to 1.12 million tonnes, and were up 30.2% from 860,000 tonnes in March.
In early April, China had hiked up the tariffs of 128 U.S. products by 25%, which range from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts; the impact of the tariffs on the imports of these items is not clear.
In April 2018, although the import of pork by China fell by 19% from its previous month figure of 110,098 tonnes, it was still up by 3.4% year on year. According to analysts, imports of pork was pushed down by falling domestic pork prices.
Similarly, Beijing imported 560,000 tonnes of fresh and dried fruits and nuts in April 2018, up by 31.6% from the previous year.
However, the import of logs from the U.S. in April dropped by 11.4%, from a year earlier, to 4.21 million cubic meters, since China ramped up inspections of such imports from the U.S.
Further, China imported 380,000 tonnes of corn in April 2018, more than 6 times the 60,000 tonnes it imported in March; it did not import any corn in April 2017.
In April, the import of sugar also rose by 140.5% year on year to 470,000 tonnes; such imports were up by 23.7% from 380,000 tonnes from a month earlier.