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[SHANGHAI] Chinese steel exports rose 3.7 per cent to 9.42 million tonnes in May from the previous month, customs data showed on Wednesday, as steel mills continued to ship output abroad, in sales that have raised trade tensions.
China, meanwhile, boosted its iron ore imports by 3.4 per cent in May to 86.75 million tonnes from the previous month, while total shipments surged 9.1 per cent to 412.15 million tonnes in the first five months of the year, customs data showed.
Chinese steel mills accelerated production amid a seasonal pick-up in demand and solid profit, boosting appetite for the steelmaking ingredient, with imports staying at above 80 million tonnes a month this year apart from the holiday season of February.
Total steel exports rose 6.4 per cent to 46.28 million tonnes in the first five months of the year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
China's robust exports have come under fire from global rivals, who have accused it of dumping cheap exports after a slowdown in demand at home.
The trade dispute escalated after the US regulators launched on investigation into complaints by United States Steel Corp that Chinese competitors stole its secrets and fixed prices.
Steel surged 80 per cent in late April from decades low prices hit in December last year, prompting steel mills to ramp up to production and some zombie mills to resume output, complicating government efforts to cut overcapacity.
China has committed to curbing its steel capacity and winding down weak state enterprises by taking new measures and strengthening global coordination.