asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the amount per tonne and method of support given by each of the members of the EEC to their respective steel industries in respect of coking coal.
We are not aware of any aid which member States pay to their steel industries in respect of coking coal. But ECSC decision 287/73 allows member States to pay a production subsidy to the coal producers to cover the difference between cost of production and either the selling price or an indicative price whichever is the higher. The indicative price is the average price of imports on term contracts from Australia and the United States; it reflects world price. Thus the directive aims to allow Community coal to compete with third country coal but does not allow member States to subsidise sales of indigenous coking coal to the Community's steel industries at prices below the indicative price.