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Coke export tariff rises to 40%
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09:12, August 19, 2008

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China decided to raise the export tariff on coke to 40 percent from 25 percent, and lift the rate on coking coal to 10 percent from 5 percent, the Ministry of Finance has said in a statement.

It also said that export tariffs on other metabituminous coal has been temporarily set at 10 percent.

The tax rises will come into effect from tomorrow, according to the statement. It did not say how long the taxes would be in place for however.

Industry insiders said the move is an attempt to relieve a tight coke supply in the domestic market and avoid negative impacts of the soaring coke price on coke's downstream industries and steel industry in China.

Coke exports surged to 14.50 million tons in 2006, 14 times higher than the figure in 1991.

In May, it exceeded the monthly record when it exported 1.66 million tons.

It is the third time that the government has placed restriction on coke exports through taxation this year.

Early this year, the government lifted coke's export tariff from 15 percent to 25 percent. After, China's coke exports hit a turning point in July, as exports fell by 10 percent, down to 830,000 tons.

Cui Jing, an expert from Custeel.com, a website headed by China's Iron and Steel Association, said the government's move was an indication of its determination and policy direction, but its effect on curtailing exports would not be very obvious in the short term.

He said the explanation lies in the discrepancy between China's coke export price of 4,000 yuan per ton and its domestic price of 1,300 per ton.

China's coke production accounts for 70 percent of the world's total and its exports account for half of the world's total. Due to the soaring international prices, the total amount of coke exported was 8.3 million tons between January and July this year.

Source:China Daily

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