Factbox: China's tariffs on U.S. commodities and energy

(The August 26 story corrects paragraph on pork to say total tariffs include the most favored nation tariff of 12%, not value added tax of 12%.)

FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - In the escalating China-U.S. trade war Beijing on Aug. 23 retaliated with tariffs on about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods including imposing additional tariffs on crude oil for the first time.

Below is a list and timeline of some key U.S. commodities and energy items on which China has imposed tariffs.


Beijing announced on Friday it would impose 5% tariff U.S. crude oil from Sept. 1, the first time U.S. oil is targeted since the trade war between the two giant economies started more than a year ago.

China, the world’s biggest crude importer, has sharply lowered U.S. shipments from a record high hit last year. Chinese customs data showed imports in the first seven months fell 63% on year to about 126,000 barrels per day.

State-run China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec Corp, is the dominant buyer. China’s U.S. oil imports hit record in 2018 at 245,615 bpd, although Sinopec had earlier aimed for 300,000 bpd.


China imposed another 5% tariff on U.S. propane from Dec. 1, which adds to the 25% levied since Aug. 23 2018. Propane is a product that can either be produced by an oil refinery or a gas liquid derived from abundant U.S. shale gas production.

Chinese firms process U.S. propane into petrochemicals such as propylene. Imports last year were worth an estimated $2 billion.


China has imposed 10% punitive duty on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) since September 2018 and then raised it to 25% in June. Imports of the super-chilled fuel in the first 7 months shrank 84.6% on the year to 258,955 tonnes, according to Chinese customs.

The escalating trade dispute has held back new long-term contracts such as one between Sinopec and U.S. exporter Cheniere Energy.

Methanol, MEG

China has imposed punitive tariffs of 25% since June on U.S. methanol and MEG.


A 25% tariff on soybeans in July 2018 halted all purchasing by commercial buyers in China, with only state-owned firms buying some of the oilseed when directed by Beijing during a trade truce.


American pork is facing its third round of trade tariffs next month, bringing total duties to 72% after including the 12% most favored nation tariff. The impact from the latest hike in tariffs will depend on how much more Chinese prices rise. A huge shortfall in domestic output has sent Chinese pork prices soaring, which could cover the cost of additional duties.

Scrap metal

Aluminum scrap has been targeted three times by China’s tariffs, with an initial 25% in April 2018, another 25% in August 2018 and a further 5% from December in the latest round. Shipments to China were down only 16% year-on-year in the first half of 2019, but those of U.S. scrap copper, hit with a 25% tariff in August 2018 and another 5% from December this year, crashed by 80% over that period.

Rare earths

Beijing has raised the prospect of restricting rare earth exports to the United States but has not announced any formal measures. In the other direction, it has put an extra 5% tariff on imports of U.S. permanent rare earth magnets from December, adding to the 25% in force since June. There has also been a 25% tariff on U.S. rare earth ore imports since June.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu, Muyu Xu, Dominique Patton, Tom Daly and Shivani Singh; editing by David Evans