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Member mills of the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa), which are mainly medium-sized and large steelmakers, produced an average of 1.7133 million tpd of crude steel during the last ten days of November, an increase of 4.3% compared with the preceding period, according to data released by the industry body late on Monday December 8.

Cisa member mills account for roughly 80% of the country’s total steel output.

Mills in the country’s northern regions returned to normal output levels in late November, after suspending production earlier in the month as part of a government drive to control pollution during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, an analyst in the capital told Steel First.

The blast furnace utilisation rate in the country’s steelmaking hub of Hebei province stood at 87.9% as at November 28, up from 87.3% a week earlier, according to market sources.

As at November 30, Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory totalled 14.314 million tonnes, down 1% from November 20 levels, data from the association shows.