Crude steel production falls in September

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2012-10-12 0:30:04

China's average daily crude steel output fell to 1.843 million tons between September 21 and 30, down 0.74 percent from the preceding 10 days, data from the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) showed Thursday.

  A steep decline in steel prices in August and early September forced Chinese steel mills to cut production to minimize losses, as the slowing economy in the world's top steel-producing region hit demand.

  Average daily steel output dropped to 1.85 million tons for the whole of September, the CISA data showed, down 1.9 percent from 1.89 million tons in August.

The association's estimates on the country's total output are based on its membership of around 70 large State-owned steel mills that account for about 80 percent of the country's total steel output.

Some industry sources said actual steel production in September was higher than the CISA estimates, however, as recent gains in steel prices would have prompted mills, particularly smaller private ones, to lift production.

"Some small and medium-sized privately owned steel mills, which are quite flexible in arranging production, have been encouraged to increase output in the face of rising steel prices," said Hu Yanping, an analyst with industry consultancy

"A survey we carried out showed that the utilization rate of 148 blast furnaces in Tangshan (Hebei Province), rose in late September. So the real output could be higher."

Shanghai rebar futures have surged to a two-month high, recovering almost 15 percent from a record low hit in early September, as demand picks up seasonally when construction activities accelerated.

"The continuous rise in steel prices has increased profit margins. I expect output to accelerate in October," said Qiu Yuecheng, an analyst with Xiben New Line, a steel trading platform.

Reuters - Global Times

Posted in: Industries

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