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China Records Month-on-month Decline in Steel Exports
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China exported 5.94 million tons of rolled steel in July, a growth of 66 percent over the same month of last year, but a decline of 420,000 tons or 6.6 percent from the previous month, customs sources said on Saturday.

Zhou Xizeng, an analyst with CITIC Securities, said the month-on-month drop indicated that the government's efforts to regulate steel exports had begun to work. He forecast the exports would go further down in August and September.

Domestic steel makers believed the government would not likely further increase export duties on steels in the coming few months while observing the effectiveness of the macro control measures it had already taken.

However, experts said the government would draw up qualification requirements for steel exporters as soon as possible to curb steel exports.

The number of steel exporters would possibly drop to several hundreds from the current more than 10,000 when such requirements were made, experts predicted.

Customs sources said in the first seven months of this year, China exported 39.7 million tons of rolled steel, up 92.2 percent on last year.

Also, the country's iron ore imports went up 35.9 percent year-on-year to 33.61 million tons in July. The arrivals for the January-July period amounted to 222 million tons, up 19 percent.

Industry observers predicted that China's iron ore imports would exceed 380 million tons for the whole year.

(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2007)

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