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Mon, May 02, 2005 - Page 12 News List

China slashes rebates on some steel, coal exports

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China cut tax rebates on exports of some steel products and coal to restrict shipments abroad and address domestic shortages, the country's top planner said today.

The tax rebate on some steel products will be reduced to 11 percent, while the refunds on exports of coal, tungsten, zinc, tin and antimony will be pared to 8 percent, the Beijing-based National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its Web site. It didn't specify what steel products are affected nor give the previous rates.

The new rates are aimed at curbing the export of "energy-consuming resources" and easing the country's "coal, electricity, fuel and transport" shortages, the commission said in the statement. The changes take effect today.

China also canceled export rebates on rare earth, primary wood and seven other products, the commission said. Starting from June 1, China will raise export tariffs on yellow phosphorus to 20 percent from 10 percent, and impose new tariff of 5 percent on ferro-silicon exports, the planning agency said.

China, the world's largest producer and user of steel, last month abolished a 13 percent tax rebate on exports of pig iron, iron ingots and some semi-finished steel products to cope with increased domestic demand. The country removed a tax rebate on exports of nickel, a material used to make stainless steel, on Jan 1. China is the world's second-biggest nickel user.

China has seen intensifying bottleneck problems in raw materials including coal, iron ire and fuel as the country's economy expanded to a eight-year high of 9.5 percent last year and in the first quarter of this year, exceeding forecasts.

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