China is set to adjust import and export tariffs on various metals and steel products from January 1, 2018, according to the State Council.
Under the new regime, the import tax for nickel ingots would be raised from 1% to 2%. SMM believes this would add to the costs of Russian nickel exports and narrow the discount of Russian material against Jinchuan nickel.
This also means that stainless steel mills could purchase more nickel pig iron due to rising costs. The imbalance between domestic and imported nickel prices is likely to change.
On rebar, exports are not expected to see much impact even though on paper the 15% export tax would be removed.
Currently exporters add chromium into rebar and sell them as hot-rolled alloy rod to be entitled for a 9% tax rebate. Theoretically, rebar exporters would no longer need to do so following the tax removal. However, the benefit of securing tax rebates is greater than the costs of adding chromium, which stood at around 50 yuan/mt. Analysts at Jinrui Futures expected to see exporters continue doing so, therefore such tax cuts have little impact on rebar exports.
Separately, China will also cancel the export tax of chlorite and lower the export tariffs on NPK fertilizer, apatite, coal tar, wood chip, silicon ferrochrome and billet.
Import taxes for magnesia brick scrap, steel slag and mineral residue will be adjusted back to the most favoured nation rates.