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China's $60 billion tariffs on US goods see little impact on copper

iconAug 7, 2018 09:56
Minimal impact is expected on US supply of copper concentrate, anode and cathode to China

SHANGHAI, Aug 7 (SMM) – While copper concentrate, anode and cathode are all included in the list of the $60 billion worth of US goods subject to fresh Chinese tariffs, minimal impact is expected as China imports little such products from the US, SMM believes.

In 2017, China imported from the US 433,000 mt of copper concentrate in physical content, 279 mt of copper anode, and 1,621 mt of refined copper.

The copper concentrate imports accounted for only 2.5% of the total in 2017, while the other two took an even smaller proportion, according to China Customs data. 

In addition, China has imported increasingly less copper concentrate and cathode from the US since 2013, especially for the latter. The US-imported refined copper fell from over 37,000 mt in 2013 to 1,621 mt last year. 

However, the US remains an important supplier of copper scrap, which stood at 535,000 mt in physical content last year, 15% of China’s total copper scrap imports. While copper scrap is not currently included in the list, uncertainties remain as the trade war continues. 

China said on Friday August 3 that it was preparing to levy 5-25% of import tax on around $60 billion of US imports. This was to in response to the Trump administration's 25% tariff, from 10%, on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. 


copper scrap

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