China stepped up its drive to rein in steel production and fight rocketing iron ore prices by canceling import taxes on some steelmaking materials and raising costs for exporters.
Import fees on pig iron, semi-finished and scrap steel will be set to zero from May 1, the Ministry of Finance said on its website. The products are all able to be used to make steel instead of smelting imported iron ore in a blast furnace. Rebates on export taxes for a range of finished steel products were also removed.
The measures will “reduce import costs, expand the import of steel resources and support the reduction of domestic crude steel output”, the ministry said.
China, which accounts for more than half of global steel output, has vowed to reduce production this year, as part of a drive to contain carbon emissions from one of its dirtiest industries. The tax changes come after a vow to contain surging raw material prices, with iron ore costs surging to historic levels.