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China plans US$3B retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products


List of US goods subject to Chinese reciprocal tariffs 'temporary' says official

China's plan to impose reciprocal tariffs on 128 U.S. products is subject to change and the items to be taxed will depend on the results of trade talks, said Li Xie, director of Export Division One, which is in charge of exports at China's Ministry of Commerce. "It is a temporary list. It is possible that the ministry will change items listed next week," Li told S&P Global Market Intelligence, noting that the ministry could add or delete certain items, depending on negotiations with the U.S. and consultations with related parties in China. The ministry on March 23 announced plans to impose a 15% tariff on 120 U.S. products including 33 types of seamless steel pipes in phase one, and to apply a 25% tariff on eight U.S. products including scrapped aluminum in a second phase. China's reciprocal tariffs are expected to affect US$3 billion in U.S. imports.

Barrick cuts top execs' 2017 pay over Acacia, Veladero 'setbacks'

Barrick Gold Corp. cut the compensation of Executive Chairman John Thornton and President Kelvin Dushnisky in 2017. Thornton received an incentive of about US$4.3 million in 2017, down 18% from a year earlier. The chairman's total compensation dropped 9.4% year over year to US$7.7 million. Barrick's compensation committee reduced Dushnisky's annual incentive to US$693,090 from about US$1.4 million in 2016. His total compensation declined 19% to US$4.2 million. The pay cuts were due in part to "setbacks" experienced by its Acacia Mining plc unit in Tanzania under an export ban, as well as a cyanide spill at its Veladero mine in Argentina.

Tata Steel said to make 350B rupee all-cash bid for Bhushan

Tata Steel Ltd. forwarded an all-cash bid of 350 billion Indian rupees to take over insolvent Indian steelmaker Bhushan Steel Ltd from its creditors, Bloomberg News wrote, citing " a person with knowledge of the matter." Tata said the same day that its bid was declared successful. If it completes the acquisition by March 2019, Tata will become the country's largest steelmaker.


* Glencore PLC hit back against claims of "slavery-like" working conditions at its cobalt-producing mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Switzerland-based IndustriALL Global Union recently released a report claiming workers described such conditions at some Glencore mines in the DRC. Glencore denied the claims, according to a Bloomberg News report, stating it "strongly rejects the claim made by IndustriALL of slavery-like conditions at our operations in the DRC."

* Swiss mining giant Glencore is set to be best-positioned relative to peers to defy the impact of a looming trade war between the U.S. and China, according to a note by RBC Capital Markets.

* Hundreds gathered in India's Tamil Nadu state to protest the planned expansion of Vedanta Ltd.'s Sterlite copper plant, wrote, citing a local media report. The protesters claimed that gas emissions and effluents from the facility have been polluting groundwater in the area, resulting in increased serious diseases among the residents of surrounding villages.

* A workers' union at BHP Billiton Group's Escondida copper mine in Chile agreed to explore early contract talks with the site's management, Reuters reported, citing the union's president, Patricio Tapia.

* Centerra Gold Inc. restarted the second ball mill circuit at the Mount Milligan copper-gold mine in British Columbia. Operations were suspended in December 2017 due to insufficient water resources and were partially restarted in February.


* Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd.'s attributable net profit for 2017 soared nearly 91% to 3.51 billion Chinese yuan on the back of higher production volumes and product prices, as well as an improvement in operational efficiency. The group produced a total of 213,765 kilograms of gold for the year, down 0.39%, while copper output rose 13.32% to 636,008 tonnes.

* The eerie stillness at the Pilbara Conglomerate Gold Conference spoke volumes of the early stage and therefore perceived uncertainty around the investment story since "watermelon seed" gold nuggets were found in August 2017, but juniors struggling to gain traction locally can take heart in renewed investment interest from Canada.

* Titan Minerals Ltd. agreed to acquire gold miner Andina Resources Ltd. in an off-market takeover bid. Andina shareholders will receive 1 fully paid Titan share for every 1.18 Andina shares held.

* Private equity group Greenstone Resources II LP acquired a 29.82% interest in Serabi Gold Plc via a US$15.0 million strategic investment of 297,759,419 shares at 0.5 pence each.

* Carbine Resources Ltd. will cease project expenditures and stop all work at the Mount Morgan gold-copper project in Queensland, Australia, effective immediately. The decision to stop work is a result of the company not being able to improve the terms of agreements to increase returns to an acceptable level.

* Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. completed the expansion of milling capacity at its Veta Grande silver project in Mexico to 750 tonnes per day. The mill is expected to start operating at full capacity by early in the second quarter.

* Gran Colombia Gold Corp. reined in the size of a planned gold-linked debt offering, revising it to US$95 million instead of US$152 million while dangling holders of near term debt a new pay-back deal.

* Aben Resources Ltd. and Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. suspended a planned drill program at the Chico gold property in Saskatchewan following a request by a local community and members of a First Nation group.


* Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. raised 12 billion Indian rupees in a qualified institutional placement. The company sold 51,502,145 equity shares at 233 rupees apiece to qualified institutional buyers.

* China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd.'s attributable profit in 2017 soared nearly 92% to about 47.80 billion Chinese yuan, while revenue jumped 35.8% to 248.75 billion yuan.

* China Hongqiao Group Ltd.'s 2017 attributable net profit slipped 25.3% to 5.12 billion yuan, even with a 52% revenue surge to 93.31 billion yuan. The company attributed the year's lower profits to capacity cuts as a result of the Chinese government's efforts to curb aluminum supply, as well as impairments of about 5.68 billion yuan.

* China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. said that profit attributable to equity holders for full-year 2017 rose on a yearly basis to 3.53 billion Chinese yuan from 2.87 billion yuan. The Liaoyang, China-based aluminum producer recorded revenue of 19.46 billion yuan in 2017, a 16.6% increase on a yearly basis.

* European Union leaders criticized the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on global imports of steel and aluminum and demanded that the bloc be permanently exempted from President Donald Trump's trade action.

* Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade intends to propose a list of restrictions on U.S. goods in response to the American steel and aluminum tariffs, Viktor Evtukhov, deputy minister of industry and trade. Russia was not included in the list of countries exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs that came into force March 23 in the U.S.

* Indonesian coal miner PT Atlas Resources Tbk sued Noble Group Ltd. and is seeking over US$260 million in compensation, adding to the company's deepening problems, Bloomberg News wrote. According to the report, the case was registered March 19 and is against Noble Group, its Noble Resources International Pte. Ltd. unit and CEO William Randall. It relates to share sales of Atlas units PT Alhasanie and PT Borneo Minerals, and former subsidiary PT Sumber Daya Kumala.

* China's steel traders are worried about a prolonged downturn as stockpiles accumulate and prices continue to drop, Reuters reported. "We were too optimistic that the price rally would continue this year with ongoing environmental measures and capacity cutbacks," said Wang Wei, a rebar trader based in China's Liaoning province.

* Rio Tinto iron ore CEO Chris Salisbury told Reuters that the company does not expect a "remarkable change" in the global iron ore market's supply and demand balance through 2019, though the executive flagged the possible moderation of steel demand growth in China.

* The British government blocked the development of a new open cast coal mine in northeastern England after a public inquiry, Reuters wrote. The Banks Group's rejected project was approved by a county council in 2017.

* An investigation was launched to determine the cause of a fire that broke out at Exxaro Resources Ltd.'s Grootegeluk coal plant in South Africa, Mining Weekly reported. The fire caused no injuries and had no impact on operations.

* South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said that its member workers at the Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines are still awaiting their March salaries, despite the business rescue practitioner's promise to make payments by March 22, Mining Weekly reported.

* ArcelorMittal is investing 75 million Bosnian marka to overhaul a blast furnace at its Bosnian steel plant, aimed at extending its life span and improving environmental standards, Reuters reported.

* China Iron and Steel Association Deputy Secretary General Li Xinchuang told the Global Iron Ore & Steel Forecast Conference in Perth, Australia, that the Chinese government's supply-side reforms will continue unabated while encouraging mergers and acquisitions activity to reduce domestic steel production capacity further.

* Japan will be in talks with the U.S. over trade issues stemming from steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, adding that retaliation may destroy the system of free trade, Reuters reported, citing Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko.

* Thai manufacturers are seeking an exemption from U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, Thai Rath reported.

* The Association of Indonesian Coal Producers expects small-scale coal mining companies in the country to go bankrupt due to a regulation that sets the price of coal sold to power plants below their production cost, Indonesia's Antara News Agency reported.

* Gerdau SA will halt the No. 2 blast furnace at its Brazil-based Ouro Branco works for about 60 days for a planned maintenance activity, Metal Bulletin reported. The activity is expected to start in late March or early April.


* Members of the Kanyika community in Malawi are taking legal action against Globe Metals & Mining Ltd.'s Malawian subsidiary, Globe Metals & Mining (Africa) Ltd., and the government to seek compensation for exploration on its land. The group alleged that the company carried out exploration and mining activities on an area of the Kanyika niobium project without honoring its compensation obligations.


* Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that China will defend its trade interests, as U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled plans to impose tariffs on up to US$60 billion of Chinese imports, Reuters reported, citing Chinese press reports. In a telephone call March 24 between the two state representatives, Liu said Beijing hopes both countries would remain "rational" and maintain stable trade relations, according to China's Xinhua News Agency.

* World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called on the body's members to practice restraint and dialogue to prevent any trade tensions.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo rejected a proposal by mining companies to relax some provisions in a new mining code in return for higher royalties, Reuters reported. "We cannot change anything in the mining code," said Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu at the start of talks between the government and the industry.

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