The world’s top steel producer and consumer China, exported a record 43.01-million tonnes of steel in 2006 — a 109.6-per cent year-on-year, while imports dropped 28.3 per cent to 18.51-million tonnes, reports the Chinese customs department.

The record exports came despite measures by the Chinese government to cool its heated economy and the anti-dumping investigations launched by trade partners, according to latest customs figures.

Exports in December alone rose 19.9 per cent from November reaching 5.55 million tonnes — up 205 per cent from December 2005.

Monthly imports declined by 17.5 per cent year-on-year to stand at 1.51 million tonnes, up 2.3 per cent from a month earlier, leaving net monthly exports at 4.04 million tonnes, Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s surging steel exports have invited criticism from US and European companies on the ground of subsidies being provided by the Chinese government to its exporters and that the Chinese currency was being kept deliberately low to encourage cheap exports. US steel makers twice urged US trade officials last year to act against China for its alleged subsidies to its steel manufacturers.


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