Commentary: China may end up inadvertent winner from Trump’s aluminium tariffs – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – August 13, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – It’s probably not what U.S. President Donald Trump had in mind when imposing tariffs on aluminium imports, but it looks likely that some of the big winners from the 10 percent import tax will be China’s producers.

While Chinese aluminium companies now face the same tariff obstacle as other exporters to the United States, they appear better placed to benefit from some of the (most likely) unintended consequences of the Trump administration’s policies.

The Trump tariffs and measures against major Russian producer Rusal, along with a strike at Alcoa’s alumina and bauxite operations in Western Australia are combining to roil aluminium markets.

Throw in Trump’s move to double the tariff on aluminium from Turkey and the result is a market that was most likely in a small supply deficit this year is now more concerned about the risk of supply disruptions.

Rusal, which produced 1.87 million tonnes of aluminium in the first half, is a major supplier not only to the United States, but also to other countries around the world.

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