China’s crude steel output dips further in late September

China’s crude steel output dipped slightly in late September, as a drop in prices for finished products kept mills’ profits squeezed.

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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 1.7858 million tpd of crude steel during the last ten days of September, down by a slight 0.13% from the preceding period, according to data released by the industry body on Friday October 10.

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

A further slide in steel prices in late September led to some mills cutting production, market participants said. But the output decline was marginal, and they do not expect it to help stabilise the market.

Eastern Chinese hot rolled coil were at 2,900-2,920 yuan ($473-476) per tonne on September 30, down 80 yuan ($13) per tonne from September 19 levels, according to Steel First price archives.

Market observers believe there could be a more significant drop in steel production in October, as several major steelmakers have maintenance planned for the month.

As at September 30, Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory totalled 14.9114 million tonnes, down 6.2% compared with September 20 levels, Cisa data shows.