China’s daily crude steel output falls further in late November

China’s daily crude steel output saw a further decline in late November, as strict pollution controls and a depressed market continued to curb production.

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The country produced 2.091 million tpd of crude steel in the last ten days of November, down 1.94% compared with 2.132 million tpd during the second ten days of the month, according to estimates released by the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa) on Monday December 9.

Output of Cisa member mills, which are mainly medium-sized and large steelmakers, averaged 1.709 million tpd in late November, down 2.37% from the preceding ten days.

The production decline was within market expectations as Beijing had been getting more serious about tackling overcapacity and pollution in the steel industry.

Hebei, China’s largest steelmaking province, demolished ten furnaces as well as 16 basic oxygen furnaces on November 24.

“I think environmental inspections will continue to be a highlight, weighing down on steel production over the short term, given the recent smog in many parts of the country,” a Beijing-based analyst said.

The blast furnace utilisation rate in Tangshan city was 92.05% on December 5, down by a further 0.65% from two weeks ago, according to market sources.

The persistent sluggishness in steel market could also dampen mills’ production interest to some extent, they said.

Cisa member mills’ finished steel inventory totalled 12.954 million tonnes as at November 30, down 7% from November 20 levels, according to the association’s data.

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