The German steel and coal industries plan to start expanding the production of coke, which is used as a fuel and in making steel, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Wednesday. The industries were reacting to a rapid increase in the cost of coke due to China's growing demand for the material. After years of downsizing, the German RAG Group has been negotiating expanding its coking plant Prosper in Bottrop, which could produce 2 million tons of coke yearly, two-thirds of which are reserved for steel industry giant ThyssenKrupp, the paper said. The steel industry would take part in the costs of expanding the facilities. The daily also wrote that the industries were assessing establishing a new coalmine in the eastern Ruhr Valley.