China steel exports fall to lowest in a year -Umetal

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BEIJING, Nov 7 (Reuters) China's steel products exports fell to 4.2 million tonnes in October, their lowest level since September 2006, an industry Web site said on Wednesday.

The drop comes as China's steel exports are attracting increasing complaints from competitors in the United States and Europe.

Steel products exports have dropped steadily since June, reflecting tax changes over the summer that made exports less profitable. China's monthly record for steel products exports was 7.16 million tonnes in April this year, as mills and trading firms rushed to ship out products before the tax changes.

China exported 160,000 tonnes of steel billet in October, Umetal said on its Web site, www.umetal.com, citing figures from the Customs Administration.

Reducing the profit on exports has cut off a market outlet for some steel mills, trapping steel at home and pressuring returns for steel firms such as Baosteel Group <600019.SS>.

REUTERS BJR RN1130

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