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Higher Duty on Aluminum Export to Cut Pollution
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China will impose export duties on some aluminum products from Aug. 1 in a bid to reduce energy consumption and pollutant emissions, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).


The government will levy a 15-percent export tariff on non-alloy aluminum rods and poles and scrap the five percent import duty on electrolytic aluminum, the MOF announced on Thursday.


It said the move aimed to "further restrict exports of high energy-consuming and polluting resources products and encourage imports of raw materials".


This is the latest measure to rein in rapid growth in the high energy-consuming and polluting industries, including metals. The government has already announced rises in the resources taxes on lead, zinc, copper and tungsten ore by three to 16 times from Aug.1.


Industrial output of the sectors, including metals, power, steel, oil refining, chemicals and construction materials, grew 20.6 percent in the first quarter, 6.6 percentage points higher than the same period last year.


The six sectors consume 70 percent of the nation's energy for industry and release the same percentage of sulfur dioxide.


The government has set the target of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent and major pollutant emissions by 10 percent by 2010.


Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 1.33 percent year-on-year in 2006, only one third of its four-percent target, Xie Fuzhan, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said on July 12.


The aluminum sector expanded has rapidly in recent years despite a series of macro-control measures. In the first five months, the output of alumina surged 55.4 percent over the same period last year to 7.62 million tons and that of electrolytic aluminum jumped 36.1 percent to 4.68 million tons.


Sources with the MOF said the move followed the large-scale scrapping or cutting of export tax rebates for 2,831 commodities from July 1 aimed to curb the growth of energy-consuming industries and reduce the nation's rising trade surplus, which hit US$112.5 billion in the first half of 2007, an increase of 83 percent from the same period last year.


(Xinhua News AgencyJuly 20, 2007)



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