China's steel output increased 18.5 percent in 2006 from the previous year, despite curbs imposed to slow rising investment and reduce pollution, a news report cited the government as saying.
China, the world's largest steel producer, has had a surge of new mills rushed into operation to supply its fast-growing construction and manufacturing industries.
Total output of steel and pig iron reached 418.8 million tons in 2006, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday, citing the country's top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.
Regulators are trying to curb steel mill investment to prevent overcapacity and a debt crisis. They also want to curb pollution from the mills' heavy use of coal.