China’s crude steel output at high level in late March

China’s crude steel production remained high in late March, at 2.07 million tpd, according to the latest estimates from China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa).

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The figure represents a 0.4% hike from the 2.06 million tpd recorded in mid-March. However, output was down by 0.6% from the record high of 2.08 million tpd seen in early March.

Daily crude steel output from Cisa members, mainly large- and medium-sized steel mills, stood at 1.68 million tpd in late March, up by 0.5% from mid-March and unchanged from early March.

“Steel mills are reluctant to cut production at the moment when demand is expected to step up,” a steel mill source in Hebei province told Steel First.

“The only problem now is demand growth is not as strong as expected,” she added.

Steel prices will remain under pressure in the coming weeks, if demand remains sluggish, an industry analyst in Beijing said.

China’s Producer Price Index in March was unchanged from February, but down by 1.9% on an annual basis, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.