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Export Licenses Introduced for 83 Steel Products
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China will apply export license management to 83 steel products as of May 20 amid efforts to rein in the expanding steel exports and trade surplus, according to the Ministry of Commerce.


The ministry said it has issued a joint notice with the General Administration of Customs saying 83 steel products including cold-rolled sheets, hot-rolled steel rolls and plates are subject to export licenses.


The license system only applies in general trade, according to the notice.


China exported 14.13 million tons of steel products in the first quarter, up 118.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the General Administration of Customs.


The administration said the nation exported 5.38 million tons of steel in March, slightly lower than the record high of 5.55 million tons set last December.


China removed as of April 15 exports tax rebates on 83 steel products and lowered the rate on 76 others to five percent as it strives to cut its trade surplus.


The surplus soared to 46.44 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of this year, nearly double the 23.3 billion U.S. dollars surplus in the same period last year.


Curbing exports by the energy and pollution-intensive steel industry will also help the government attain its goal in energy saving and pollution control, a new policy priority for the government, observers here said.


(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2007)


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