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China remains world's largest stainless steel producer
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China remained the world's number one producer of stainless steel last year, taking up more than one quarter of the global output, figures with the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) have shown.

China churned out some 7.2 million tonnes of stainless steel in 2007, or more than one quarter of some 28 million tonnes of global output, said chairman of the stainless steel council under the CISA Li Cheng. China overtook Japan as the world's biggest stainless steel producer in 2006. Its alloy steel output hit 16.6 million tonnes last year, up 21.72 percent year on year. Steel products exports, however, dropped sharply in the second half of 2007 on a series of reduction in export tax rebates.

The net exports of crude steel soared in the first half of last year, but then tumbled in the second half year by 22.55 percent from the previous year, as a result of increased tax as far as experts concerned. China scrapped the 13 percent export rebates on carbon steel welded tubes as of July 1 last year and raised the export tariff on steel billets to 25 percent, amid other efforts to trim its rapid expanding trade surplus.

CISA figures showed the product mix has been further optimized, with technology-intensive and value-added products rose substantially.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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