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Member mills of the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa), the majority of which are steelmakers of such sizes, produced 1.7959 million tpd of crude steel during the last ten days of the month, an increase of 2.66% from the preceding ten days, according to data released by the industry body on Friday May 9.
For the entire month of April, their output averaged 1.7845 million tpd, up 2.84% on the month, Cisa data shows.
The production increase was within expectation, as mills generally saw their profits improve amid steady steel prices and declining raw materials cost over the past few weeks, market sources said.
The association did not publish its late April estimate for the country’s daily crude steel output, however.
A Beijing-based analyst suggested that the move was likely a bid by the association to avoid releasing figures that conflicted with data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The have been significant gaps between the data released by Cisa and NBS in February-March. For example, China’s crude steel output in March was 2.27 million tpd according to NBS, but Cisa’s data put it at 2.09 million tpd.
As at April 30, the combined finished steel inventory at Cisa member mills totalled 14.34 million tonnes, down 9.33% from April 20 levels.
China’s medium-sized and large steelmakers saw their output climb further in late April, an indication of increasing supply pressure nationwide.