China's top steel city cuts industrial production to clear air

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 07, 2016 5:00 AM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's top steel making city of Tangshan has told industrial plants to cut production for two weeks from Saturday, its third such suspension since July, as Beijing battles overcapacity and pollution, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The environmental crackdown will affect steel mills, power plants, coking producers and cement producers that have failed to meet standards.

The city in the northern province of Hebei, which accounts for more than a fifth of China's steel output, enforced similar cuts in July and August, and will strengthen inspections of emissions.

The Tangshan city government could not immediately be reached for comment.

The overcapacity has brought China under fire as its record overseas shipments have stirred tension with other major producers.

Following complaints and increased anti-dumping duties, leaders of the G20 group of countries have pledged to work together to tackle excess steel capacity.

China has promised to cut steel capacity by 45 million tonnes this year, as it tries to rejuvenate an industry suffering from slowing demand and a massive supply glut.

Steel capacity cuts in the first seven months of the year amounted to just 47 percent of the annual target and China will accelerate the pace over the rest of the year.

(Reporting by Ruby Lian and Josephine Mason; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)