China Slashes Coal, Ore Tariffs; Stainless Prices Respond

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China will slash export tariffs for coal from Jan. 1 and adjust those for a range of commodities as part of broader efforts to re-order trade and foster economic growth.

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A reduction in coal export tariffs comes after intense lobbying by the China National Coal Association as a slump in coal prices have put nearly 70% of the country’s miners in the red and more than half to owe wages, Reuters reported.

Export tariffs for all unprocessed coal will be cut to 3% from the current 10% in 2015, while the current 1% import tax for ferro-nickel will be scrapped, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Tuesday.

The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil fell 3.5% on Tuesday, December 16 to CNY 17,750 ($2,867) per metric ton, making it the day’s biggest mover. The price of Chinese primary nickel weakened by 1.6%, settling at CNY 115,400 ($18,642) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap showed little movement on Tuesday at CNY 9,850 ($1,591) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw little change in its price on Tuesday at CNY 13,350 ($2,157) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,829) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome continues hovering around CNY 10,950 ($1,769) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 90,000 ($14,539) per metric ton.

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On the LME, the nickel spot price rose 2.0% to $16,655 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price rose 1.9% to $16,715 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel closed at INR 1,047 ($16.50) per kilogram. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 1.1%.

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