This Morning in Metals: President Trump Delays Schedule Tariff Increase on China

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This morning in metals news, President Donald Trump over the weekend announced he would delay the previously scheduled March 1 tariff bump on a wide range of Chinese goods, British Steel Ltd. could take a hit if a Brexit deal cannot be reached and Brazil’s iron ore sector could experience significant disruptions in 2019.

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Tariff Delay

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continued over the weekend, during which President Donald Trump announced he would delay a previously scheduled March 1 tariff rate increase.

Last year, the U.S. imposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at a rate of 10%, which was then scheduled to rise to 25% as of Jan. 1. However, following further negotiations, the two countries agreed to begin a 90-day negotiating window and the U.S. delayed the tariff bump to March 1.

“I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues,” Trump said in a tweet over the weekend.

He added that as a result of the “productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”

British Steel and Brexit

According to Bloomberg, British Steel Ltd. could take a hit of $130 million if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to orchestrate a Brexit deal with the E.U. before the March 29 deadline.

The financial hit comes as the E.U. earlier this year suspending free carbon permits in preparation for a no-deal scenario, according to the report.

Brazil Iron Ore Disruptions

The Brazilian iron ore market has already been disrupted this year, primarily as a result of the fatal tailings dam collapse at Vale SA’s Corrego do Feijao mine in January.

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However, excluding Vale, Brazil’s iron ore sector could see a disruption of 8 million tons of ore this year, according to a mining.com report citing Wood Mackenzie.

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