China to cut steel billet, pig iron export taxes to boost economy

9 December 2015

China will cut export taxes on steel billet and pig iron from Jan. 1 2016, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, as part of a raft of measures aimed at boosting economic growth in the world's second-largest economy.

It did not give details on the size of the cut. Tariffs on billet and pig iron are currently 25 percent.

China would also cut tariffs on some energy raw materials, but the ministry did not identify which materials would be subject to the cut.

The move to encourage sales abroad will help to erode a ballooning domestic glut and underscores the deepening crisis in the world's biggest steel industry as the country's economic growth slows.

Stricken mills have struggled for years with plunging prices, waning demand from real estate to shipbuilding, and tight credit. Many have gone bankrupt or cut output.

Still, the measures will fuel concerns that the world's biggest consumer of industrial raw materials is exporting its excess output onto a saturated global market, accelerating a price rout.

Final details of the tariff changes will likely to be announced at the end of the year.

The government said it would also eliminate export tariffs on phosphoric acid and ammonia.