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Export tariffs to be raised for steel products: report
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China plans to raise export duties on steel products, including steel billets, long and strip products, and welded tubes, as of Jan. 1, the China Securities Journal reported on Wednesday.


The export tariffs increases would come amid increasing overseas dumping charges against China's massive steel exports and as the nation strived to cut energy consumption and pollutant emissions.


The export tariff on steel billets would be raised to 25 percent from the current 15 percent, the newspaper cited steel company officials as saying.


The news came as the officials attended a forum held by the Economic Operation Department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) on Tuesday.


The government would also raise export duties on long and strip steel products, and welded tubes to 15 percent from the current level of zero to 10 percent, respectively, the unnamed officials said.


China, the world's largest steel producer, scrapped its 13 percent export rebate on carbon steel welded tubes as of July 1, amid other efforts to trim its rapidly expanding trade surplus.


The higher tariffs would reduce the nation's steel products exports by 20 million tons in 2008, said Wu Xichun, a CISA consultant.


China exported 57.86 million tons of steel products in the first 11 months, according to the General Administration of Customs.


The tariff increase would help to close more out-dated, small steel plants as the government vowed to meet its target of reducing energy consumption used to generate per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent. It also aimed to cut major pollutant emissions by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010.


The local authorities have agreed to close out-dated steel mills with a total production capacity of 77.86 million tons between 2006 and 2010, Xiong Bilin, the NDRC's Industry Department deputy director, said earlier.


(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2007)


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