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British steel industry is to boost output by 5 to 20 per cent over the next five years, the government has announced, as it prepares to announce an increase in steel tariffs.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: “The UK’s steel industry has been hit by the global economic downturn, which has resulted in increased supply constraints, and the UK has had to reduce its capacity.”
However, this has not stopped the UK from leading the way in manufacturing, the export of products from the UK to Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
“Our steel industry remains one of the UK’s most productive, with an estimated annual production of 2.2 million tonnes.”
This has resulted, in part, in an increased production of wrought iron, which is the raw material for our steel.
“The Ministry of Defense is currently assessing the impact of this on the steel industry, and will make a decision on tariff and export controls as soon as possible.”
The announcement comes as steel tariffs were reduced by 15 per cent in the second quarter of the year to around £20 a tonne.
In May, steel tariffs rose to £45 a tonnet from £40.
A Ministry of Supply statement said: “[In] June, tariffs were lowered by 15% to £50 a ton.
This included a reduction in the tariff for all steel goods from £35 to £20, with a tariff for wrought steel from £55 to £35, and a reduction for all other raw materials from £45 to £30.”
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: ‘We are very pleased to announce that the UK is to increase the tariffs on steel by 15 to 20 percent over the coming year, bringing the total tariff on steel to £25 per tonne for domestic steel and to £40 per tonnet for imported steel.’
Steel imports have fallen by around 50 per cent this year to £3.6bn, down from £6.5bn in 2016.
However, the Department for Transport said that the increased tariff was the result of “more efficient” procurement, with the price of imported steel falling by around 10 per cent, and by 15 percent in some cases.
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: