March 28, 2017 / 12:41 AM / 8 months ago

China's Liaoning pledges 10 mln T low-grade steel closures by June

SHANGHAI, March 28 (Reuters) - The northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning has promised to close more than 10 million tonnes of low-grade steel capacity by the end of June this year as part of its efforts to clean up the sector, the official Liaoning Daily reported on Tuesday.

Heavy industrial Liaoning, home to struggling state steel mills like the Anshan Group and the Benxi Iron and Steel Group, is a key part of China’s strategy to tackle price-sapping overcapacity in the coal and steel sectors.

However, the province has struggled to find alternative sources of growth. Its economy shrank 2.5 percent last year, the only Chinese province to see a contraction.

The low-grade steel closures are also part of a nationwide pledge to eliminate a type of dangerous and polluting production capacity that accounts for about 4 percent of total output.

Liaoning also aims to shut all coal mines with annual production capacity of less than 90,000 tonnes by the end of the year, a move that will cut coal provincial production capacity by 9.59 million tonnes, the report said.

Liaoning has been ordered to close 30.4 million tonnes of coal capacity over the 2016-2020 period, Liaoning Daily reported. It shut 44 mines last year and cut production capacity by 13.6 million tonnes.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Joseph Radford

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