Interestingly, steel export of China recorded a new high with exporting 43.01 million tones in 2006 despite cooling measures taken by the government and anti-dumping investigations launched by its trading partners. Steel producers of the U.S. and the American Iron and Steel Institute had appealed to U.S. authorities last year to take measures to counter China’s subsidies to its steel manufacturers. Crude steel production in china shot up by 18.48 percent to touch 418.78 million tones in 2006, following soaring demand. According to an official figure the production of pig iron surged 19.78 percent to 404.17 million tones last year. The production of steel products jumped 24.45 percent to 466.85 million tones. China’s steel production has considerable influence on the global steel market and steel prices. China is already world’s biggest steel producer and the demand for steel in China jumped significantly in recent times. A series of new mills have been brought under operation to supply steel for rapidly growing construction and manufacturing industries. The sharp rise in steel production recorded by China despite curbs imposed to decelerate surging investment and reduce pollution. The National Development and Reform Commission has stated that in spite of many macroeconomic policies, China’s steel sector continued to expand due to huge market demand encouraged by the soaring economic growth. However, the commission took a serious note of large number of illegal and backward steel firms that have been in operation across the country since 2003. These illegal companies were established to gain benefit on the huge business opportunities in this sector. The commission has indicated that the government will now concentrate on restructuring and closing the small polluting steel firms and will work on to reduce energy consumption in the steel industry by the year 2010.