This Morning in Metals: ‘Much Work Remains’ in U.S.-China Trade Talks

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This morning in metals news, the White House released a statement about the recent round of trade talks with China, Zambia plans to enforce a copper import tax and Australian miner Fortescue says the impact of a dam breach at one of Vale’s Brazilian iron ore mines remains unclear.
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Trade Talks

The U.S. and China renewed ongoing talks on trade last week, as China’s Vice Premier Liu He led the Chinese delegation.
The White House released a statement last week on the progress of the talks and listed various topics of discussion, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights and the production of excess capacity due to market-distorting forces.

“While progress has been made, much work remains to be done,” the White House said. “President Donald J. Trump has reiterated that the 90-day process agreed to in Buenos Aires represents a hard deadline, and that United States tariffs will increase unless the United States and China reach a satisfactory outcome by March 1, 2019.  The United States looks forward to further talks with China on these vital topics.”

Zambia to Enforce Copper Import Tax

According to a Reuters report, Zambia’s mining minister said the country plans to enforce a 5% copper import tax.Zambia is Africa’s second-biggest copper producer.

Vale Impact

A Jan. 25 dam breach at Brazilian miner Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine has left 134 dead, according to a recent Reuters report (with many people still missing).
After consideration of the significant human toll, iron ore watchers are also wondering what impact the disaster will have on that market segment.
However, according to Australian iron ore miner Fortescue, it’s still too early to tell.
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“We are not 100 percent clear yet on the net impact on supply of iron ore, but certainly there will be some impact,” Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines was quoted as saying by the Hellenic Shipping News.

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