China investigating U.S. request to lift anti-dumping tariffs on DDGS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s commerce ministry confirmed on Thursday that it was examining an application from a U.S. trade association requesting a review of its anti-dumping tariffs on imports of distillers grains (DDGS) from the United States.

FILE PHOTO: A process operator holds a handful of dried distillers grains, a protein animal feed that can be fed to livestock, at the GreenField Ethanol plant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada April 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

China’s Ministry of Commerce was set to review the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs imposed on DDGS imports from the U.S. in 2016, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a document issued by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association.

The ministry said in a faxed statement sent on Thursday in response to a request for comments to the earlier Reuters story that it had initially received the request from the U.S. Grains Council on Feb. 28.

The ministry sought further materials from the Grains Council which it submitted on March 29.

The commerce ministry then informed domestic industry of the U.S. request, it said.

“Currently, the commerce ministry is investigating the request and provided it meets our legal requirements, we will decide whether to review the case,” said the statement.

If the ministry decided to proceed with a review, it would carry out an impartial and fair investigation, and make a final decision based on the findings, the statement said.

DDGS are a byproduct of ethanol production and have become a key contributor to profits for makers of the biofuel. After the tariffs were implemented in 2016, Chinese DDGS imports fell by 55 percent versus the 2015 volumes to 3 million tonnes, worth $684 million.

The U.S. industry request comes amid negotiations between Beijing and Washington to secure a pact to end a trade war that has roiled global markets.

Beijing has pledged during these talks to increase its imports of U.S. farm goods.

Reporting by Yawen Chen, Hallie Gu and Joseph Campbell; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger