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China's Steel Export to Slow Down in Second Half
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China's export of steel would not maintain the high growth rate recorded in the first quarter, and would slow down in the second half of the year, owing to the shrinking demand internationally and reduced export rebates, according to a business insider.

Statistics with the China Iron and Steel Association show the country exported 14.13 million tons of steel in the first quarter, an increase of 33.26 percent from the same period last year. The export throughout the year would reach 57.3 million tons if estimated on the average daily export reported in the first quarter.

However, Luo Bingsheng, vice chairman of the association, said the estimation for the whole year was not well grounded, predicting that the high growth rate was unlikely to continue into the second half.

The market for export would be narrowed in the second half against a smaller demand for steel globally throughout the year, although the demand was robust in the first quarter, according to Luo.

The International Iron and Steel Institute said the demand for steel in 2007 was 2.6 percent lower than last year.

The export rebate cut for steel products, which came into effect on April 15, may dampen the enthusiasm of steel exporters, Luo said.

He predicted that China's export of steel products may level with that in 2006 or even drop slightly in 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2007)

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