In another strike at the overheated steel sector, the Ministry of Commerce said China will cut its output of coke by 20% next year as a pollution curbing measure. Coke is a key ingredient in steel-making. In May, China agreed to maintain European Union exports at 4.5 million tons through this year. China produced 178 million tons of coke in 2003, half the world's total. Of its 14.7 million tons of coke exports last year, a third went to EU where importers have been savaged by worldwide price increases.