By Agence France-Presse Global steel production should grow 5% percent in 2005 and 3.5% in 2006, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday. Initial estimates showed that 1.05 billion tons of steel were forged in 2004, 8.7% more than in 2003, OECD economist Franco Manatto said during a high-level meeting on steel, organized by the OECD and the International Iron and Steel Institute. China churned out 26% of steel produced in the world last year with 270 million tons, marking a 22.5 % jump from 2003. The European OECD member countries accounted for 20% of global steel production, the United States and Canada 13%, and the Asian members of the OECD 16%. After the production surge in 2004, China is expected to forge 14% more steel this year followed by 11% more in 2006, according to the OECD. While domestic output surged last year, Chinese steel imports slumped 24% to 30 million tons. The OECD's Manatto said that the fall in Chinese imports was likely to continue this and next year and that exports might have doubled in 2004 and were likely to keep growing.