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Steel Products Export Soars in First 2 Months
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China exported 8.75 million tons of steel products in the first two months this year, up 139.3 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.


The country's steel billet export soared 87.9 percent year-on-year to hit 1.12 million tons in the January-February period, according to customs figures.


China imported 2.7 million tons of steel products in the first two months, down 4.6 percent, and imported 50,000 tons of steel billet, roughly same as the amount of last year's same period.


China's steel products export totaled 4.38 million tons in February alone, with a daily export of 156,400 tons, a year-on-year rise of 10.69 percent, customs statistics showed. The daily import in February stood at 43,600 tons, down 8.6 percent from last year's same month.


Analysts said that rising exports indicated that some steel producers have stepped up their exports against the expected cut in the export tax rebate.


The soaring steel exports might prompt the birth of new policies to adjust the export tax at an earlier date, said analysts.


China's steel exports soared drastically from a very low basis at the beginning of 2006, so the statistics indicated irrational changes, said Mao Zuhong, a research fellow with the United Securities.


Mao said attention should be focused on month-on-month figures.


Customs figures show that China exported 4.92 million tons of steel products and billet in February, down 0.61 percent from the previous month.


However, analysts said that expected export tax cut would only slow down growth rate in total steel products export, it would not change the growing trend in export.


China expects to produce approximately 460 million tons of crude steel this year, a steady growth of 10 percent over last year, according to the State Development and Reform Commission.


In 2006 the nation's crude steel output amounted to 418.78 million tons, up 18.48 percent year-on-year.


(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2007)


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