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The country produced 68.91 million tonnes of crude steel last month, an increase of 1% year-on-year, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Saturday September 13.

The average daily output was 2.223 million tpd, up 0.86% from the 2.204 million tpd recorded in July.

Profit gains in July could have spurred steelmakers to maintain high production levels in August, market sources said.

They expect the country’s steel output to remain relatively high this month, as no large-scale mill maintenance has been scheduled yet, despite the depressed spot market.

In the first eight months of 2014, China produced a total of 550.1 million tonnes of crude steel, up 2.6% compared with the same period of last year.

Its finished steel output amounted to 742.1 million tonnes over the same period, 5.4% year-on-year increase, NBS data shows.