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Member mills of the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) produced an average of 1.694 million tpd of crude steel during the second ten days of January, down 5.1% from the first ten days of the month, according to data released by the industry body on Thursday January 29.

Cisa members, which are mainly medium-sized and large steelmakers, account for roughly 80% of the country’s total steel output.

The drop in output came at a time when prices of major steel products continued to plunge to historical lows this month.

China’s domestic hot rolled coil market continued to weaken this week, with prices for commercial-grade HRC (4.5-12mm) in Shanghai falling to a new low of 2,490-2,510 yuan ($404-407) per tonne on Wednesday.

Similarly, prices for grade III 16-25mm rebar in the eastern Chinese city fell to 2,300-2,400 yuan ($373-390) per tonne, a record low.

Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory stood at 14.763 million tonnes as at January 20, up 8.3% from January 10 levels, according to the industry body’s data.