European economic ministers will hold an emergency meeting at the request of the UK to discuss the country's steel industry.

Around 4,000 jobs were lost in the UK's steel industry in October. Workers from the UK, Belgium and France are due to hold a demonstration in Brussels later today (Monday).

The industry blames cheap imports of steel from China, which in turn is blamed for the low global prices. Industry body UK Steel believes that the latest data will show Chinese imports account for more than half of the UK markets.

"The US and other countries have already moved to prevent cheap Chinese imports distorting their markets and now the EU must do the same and, do so quickly," said Gareth Stace, director of the industry body UK Steel.

"The UK must seize the moment and encourage a rapid response in Brussels if we're to prevent large scale problems for steel makers spreading in Britain and across the continent."

Axel Eggert, director general of the Eurofur, UK Steel's European counterpart, said: "We do not want to block imports, but we would like to see fair trade, and if fair trade is not provided by our trade partners, the EU needs to act and it needs to act immediately. We hope that this will be one of the outcomes today."

Focusing on jobs in the UK's steel industry, Unite national officer Harish Patel, said: "Hiding behind the EU as an excuse to do nothing will not wash with the tens of thousands of workers whose livelihoods depend on steelmaking in the UK.

"Nothing should be off the table, including a refusal to grant China market economy status while it fails to abide by EU rules on fair trade.

"[Business secretary] Sajid Javid also needs to use the opportunity to learn from his counterparts in countries such as Germany and Italy and follow their lead in developing an industrial strategy with steel at its heart."