Baotou Iron & Steel is in talks to sell a stake to Mittal Steel, the Wall Street Journal reported. Officials would not provide details on the size of the proposed stake. Mittal became the first foreign steelmaker to take a large stake in a major Chinese steel producer when it paid US$338 million for a 36.67% stake in Hunan Valin Steel Tube & Wire in September. China is the world's largest consumer and producer of steel, accounting for nearly one-third of global production. Baotou would produce around 7.5 million metric tons of steel this year and plans to make 10 million metric tons annually by 2009.