China claims US is dumping grain sorghum into the country, imposes 178.6 percent duty on imports

Bloomberg reported early April 17 the Chinese are moving forward with claims the United States is dumping its grain sorghum into their country. China previously has been the largest foreign buyer of U.S. grain sorghum.

As a result, China is imposing temporary anti-dumping deposits on U.S. sorghum imports. This just adds fuel to the already hot tensions between the economies of the U.S. and China. 

Imports will incur a 178.6 percent duty, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a preliminary ruling April 17. It’s in compliance with domestic law and World Trade Organization rules, Wang Hejun, chief of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at the ministry, said in a statement and Bloomberg reported. 

China began looking into sorghum imports from the U.S. in early February. This happened after President Donald Trump issued tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines and even more levies on steel, aluminum and other products from China. They responded with their own tariffs and more are expected.

“The rate is quite high and some buyers may have to cancel shipments,” said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. A rally in domestic corn prices since late last year has prompted domestic feed mills to increase purchases of the grain from the U.S., he said.

China imported about 4.8 million metric tons of sorghum from the U.S. last year, worth about $957 million, according to customs data. Purchases in the first two months of 2018 were 11 percent lower than a year earlier.

The National Sorghum Producers issued a statement following the issuance of the preliminary duties and expressed its disappointment in the preliminary antidumping determination.

“U.S. sorghum is not being dumped in China, and U.S. sorghum producers and exporters have not caused any injury to China’s sorghum industry,” NSP said in their release. 

“National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, has cooperated fully with China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including submitting several thousand pages of data demonstrating conclusively that U.S. sorghum is neither dumped nor causing any injury to China.”

NSP believes none of this information appears to have been seriously considered or used in the April 17 preliminary determination, which is neither fair nor appropriate. 

“We continue to greatly value our Chinese customers and what has been a win-win business relationship between U.S. sorghum producers and our Chinese partners. Today’s decision in China reflects a broader trade fight in which U.S. sorghum farmers are the victim, not the cause. And U.S. sorghum farmers should not be paying the price for this larger fight.”

“Understanding the serious impact this preliminary decision will have on our farmers, NSP and our partners will continue to demonstrate U.S. sorghum farmers are not injuring China. We are evaluating all legal options moving forward.” 

Kylene Scott can be reached at [email protected] or 620-227-1804.