Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond urges China to curb steel production

Jessica Morris
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China intends to maintain high levels of steel production (Source: Getty)

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has urged China to stop dumping excess Steel onto the global market as the UK steel industry is in its death throes.

His intervention comes as a Tata Steel is preparing to kick off the formal sales process for its British assets on Monday.

Read more: Why the bank bailouts are no model to follow for the struggling UK steel industry

During a visit to Beijing he said: "I urged China to accelerate its efforts to reduce levels of steel production."

"The UK's focus is on finding a long-term sustainable future for steel making at Port Talbot and across the UK, and I welcomed the potential interest of Chinese companies in investment in UK steel making," the BBC reports.

Excess supply from China has been driving down steel prices, a key reason why companies in the sector are struggling.

Tata's recent decision to sell-off its loss making British business has ramped up pressure on the government to take action against cheap steel flooding the market from China and Russia.

Read more: This chart shows the decline of the UK's steel industry

Earlier today, China signalled it intention to keep producing high levels of steel in the future.

Luo Tiejun, the vice head of the raw materials department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said today that if its exports remained at 100m tonnes, production levels would stay at around 800m tonnes.

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