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Daily crude steel output totalled 1.952 million tonnes during the second 10 days of the month, compared with 1.956 million tonnes in early November.

Cisa members, including state-owned and large steel mills, contributed a daily volume of 1.633 million tonnes, down 0.3% over the same period.

“Though daily production slipped from early November, it still remains high at above 1.95 million tonnes, which means mills were willing to produce more on good profit margins,” an industry analyst in Beijing said.

Output from non-Cisa members could have been underestimated as utility rates in Tangshan, a region with a high concentration of private mills, remained high at about 90% of capacity, the analyst said.