Friday, 13 September 2019
China’s state news agency, on Friday, reported that China will exempt U.S. agricultural products from added tariffs as Chinese firms purchased vast amounts of U.S. soybeans shortly ahead of high-level trade negotiations.
The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will exclude some agricultural products such as soybeans and pork from the additional tariffs on U.S. goods.
This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump said that the promised tariff hike on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods had been postponed from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15.
Earlier, the Chinese government’s Customs Tariff Commission published two lists of U.S. products to be exempted from additional import duties for the period from Sept. 17, 2019, to Sept. 16, 2020. The development comes as the U.S. and China are preparing for a new round of talks set to take place in Washington in October.
The two countries have been engaged in a trade conflict since 2018, when the Trump administration imposed the first round of its additional trade duties on China, prompting a reciprocal response from Beijing.
Soybeans constitute a major portion of U.S. exports to China. The sales drastically plummeted amid the trade dispute, hurting U.S. farmers by dropping 74 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Beijing was forced to turn to Latin American countries to satisfy its need for agricultural product.
Published in Business

South Africa's economic growth is unlikely to reach the treasury's target of 1.5% in 2019 because conditions have changed and the country is facing increasing headwinds, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Friday.

This week ratings agency Moody's, the last of the top three credit firms to rate South Africa’s debt at investment level, said it had lowered its growth forecast to 0.7% from 1%.

The central bank sees gross domestic product at 0.6% this year. Both have cited slow economic reforms as the key drag on economic activity, and massive bailouts to state-owned companies, including 59 billion rand ($4.05 billion) to power firm Eskom.

This has limited the government's scope for stimulus and raised debt while the resultant uncertainty has kept investment subdued.

"The assumptions underlying the forecasts have clearly changed ... the actual deficit now is probably much higher," Mboweni told a banking conference in Johannesburg.

He said that increasing calls for the treasury to bail out state firms was putting pressure on growth and spending.

"We must re-focus our economy on agriculture …but we also have to continue to support Eskom, because without electricity there is no growth," Mboweni said.

A Reuters poll of economists this week forecast South African economic growth at 0.7% this year, up from 0.6% in the previous forecast. Second quarter growth bounced back 3.1% after a revised contraction of 3.1% in the first quarter.

($1 = 14.5521 rand)


- Reuters

Published in Economy

Zambia has cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to around 2% from an initial projection of 4%, President Edgar Lungu said on Friday.

Lungu said in a state of the nation address in parliament that adverse weather conditions will negatively affect this year's economic growth.


Published in Business
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