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The country produced 2.132 million tpd of crude steel in the second ten days of November, compared with 2.144 million tpd during the first ten days of the month, according to estimates released by the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) on Wednesday November 27.

Output of Cisa member mills, which are mainly medium-sized and large steelmakers, averaged 1.75 million tpd in mid-November, down 0.7% from the previous period.

Market observers attributed the production decline to the lower domestic steel prices as well as the tighter environment regulation.

For example, hot rolled coil prices in Shanghai were around 3,460-3,480 yuan ($564-567) per tonne on November 20, down 40-50 yuan ($7-8) per tonne from the level on November 11, according to Steel First price archives.

Blast furnace utilization rate in Tangshan city was 92.7% on November 21, down 1.2% on the week, according to market sources.

However, the dip in mid-November daily output is too slight to affect market prices, a Shanghai-based analyst said.

Cisa member mills’ finished steel inventory totalled 13.934 million tonnes as of November 20, up 1 million tonnes or 7.8% from November 10 levels, according to figures from the association.