Cisa member mills’ output dips in mid-May

China’s medium-sized and large steelmakers saw their crude steel output dip in mid-May, the first drop since April.

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Member mills of the China Iron & Steel Assn (Cisa), the majority of which are steelmakers of such sizes, produced 1.8005 million tpd of crude steel over the second ten days of the month, a decrease of 1.29% from the first ten days, according to data released by the industry body on Tuesday May 27.

The production decline is likely to be due to maintenance being undertaken by several major mills, including eastern China’s Shagang and north-eastern China’s Benxi Iron & Steel, market observers suggested.

Meanwhile, the blast furnace utilisation rate in Hebei province’s Tangshan city also recorded a drop, at 88.69% on May 23, which compares with 89.73% on May 9, according to market sources.

“The market could remain under pressure despite the drop in output, as it still remains high,” a Shanghai-based trading source said.

As at May 20, Cisa member mills’ combined finished steel inventory totalled 14.998 million tonnes, up 4.9% from May 10 levels.