Chinese Sorghum Importers Ask Government to Waive Tariff

Some Chinese sorghum importers have asked their government to waive the hefty tariff imposed last week on U.S. sorghum imports already at sea. A Reuters report says the request comes as companies are rushing to sell China-bound cargo currently stranded on the water at big discounts.

The Commerce Ministry slapped a large 178.6 percent deposit on American sorghum in a trade row between the world’s two largest economies. Grain sorghum is used in animal feed and to make liquor. One source tells Reuters his company made the request of Beijing to impose the new tariff on shipments that left U.S. ports after April 18.

Companies are making a bid to protect almost a dozen vessels shipping U.S. sorghum that had already left their ports.

A second source at a private importer told Reuters that a group of companies, including one government-owned firm, met with Commerce Ministry officials to discuss concessions for the new tariff, but didn’t disclose details of what happened at the meeting.

The scramble to secure government concessions underscores concerns among Chinese firms that the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing will inflict financial pain on China