April 9, 2019 / 9:50 AM / 12 days ago

China to review anti-dumping tariffs on U.S. distillers grains: document

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Commerce is set to review its anti-dumping tariffs on imports from the United States of distillers grains (DDGS), an animal feed ingredient, according to a document issued by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association.

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

The document - dated April 8 and issued to member companies and reviewed by Reuters - said the U.S. Grains Council had asked the commerce ministry to terminate their anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on American DDGS.

Tom Sleight, president and chief executive of the U.S. Grains Council, confirmed on Tuesday that the group had asked the Chinese commerce ministry to review the tariffs, per China’s rules.

The commerce ministry did not respond to a fax seeking confirmation of the review. It is not clear what the outcome of the review will be.

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, imports by China fell sharply.

China bought 3 million tonnes of DDGS in 2016, mainly from the United States and worth $684 million in total, according to Chinese customs data. The imports that year were down 55 percent from 2015.

The U.S. industry request comes amid trade talks between Beijing and Washington as both sides try to secure a pact to end a tit-for-tat tariff battle that has roiled global markets.

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

China set anti-dumping duties of between 42.2 percent and 53.7 percent on U.S. DDGS in January 2017, up from 33.8 percent in preliminary duties implemented in September 2016.

Anti-subsidy tariffs range from 11.2 percent to 12 percent.

The document seen by Reuters asked member companies to submit information to the China Alcoholic Drinks Association before April 10 regarding their sales and production of DDGS and income levels from recent years.

It also sought members’ views on how removing the tariffs would impact the domestic industry and companies, as well as the local agriculture industry, farmer incomes and poverty alleviation programs.

The association plans to gather the material and submit the information to the ministry this week, it said.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; additional reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago. Editing by Tom Hogue and Marguerita Choy

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