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Steel product exports contract after tax rebate cuts
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China's exports of steel products tumbled in the second half of 2007 after cuts in export tax rebates. Net exports of crude steel soared during the first half but slid 22.55 percent year-on-year in the second half, according to statistics released by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) on Wednesday.


China, the world's largest steel producer, scrapped a 13 percent export tax rebate on carbon steel welded tubes last July 1 and raised the export tariff on steel billets to 25 percent, amid efforts to reduce the rapidly expanding trade surplus. The tariff hikes helped lead to the closure of small, obsolete steel plants as the government vowed to reduce the energy-intensity of gross domestic product by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010.


China produced 489 million tons of steel in 2007, up 15.66 percent, and output of technology-intensive, high value-added products rose. The output of five categories -- cold-rolled wide strip, cold-rolled sheet, cladding strip, coating strip and electrical steel plate -- climbed to 57.9 million tons, accounting for 10.26 percent of all steel products. According to the CISA, China is expected to remain the world's largest stainless steel producer in 2007.


(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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