China's Oct crude steel output extends dip as firms advance maintenance

Credit: REUTERS/China Daily China Daily Informat

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BEIJING, Nov 15 (Reuters) - China's crude steel output fell for the fourth consecutive month in October, official data showed on Wednesday, as more mills implemented furnace maintenance amid thinning margins and disappointing demand in the peak consumption season.

The world's largest steel producer manufactured 79.09 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, down 3.7%from 82.11 million tons in September, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The volume last month was down 1.8% from the same month a year earlier.

Average daily crude steel output in October was 2.55 million tons, the lowest since December 2022, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, down 6.8% from 2.74 million tons in September.

Wider and deepening losses propelled some steelmakers to start annual maintenance on blast furnaces earlier than expected, contributing to lower output in October, said Cai Yongzheng, a Nanjing-based director of Jiangsu Fushi Data Research Institute.

Less than one fifth of Chinese steel mills surveyed were operating at a profit by end-October, down from around one-third in late September, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

Daily hot metal output averaged 2.45 million tons in October, down 1.5% on the month but up 2.5% on the year, Mysteel data showed.

China churned out 874.7 million tons of crude steel in the first 10 months of 2023, up 1.4% from a year earlier, NBS data showed.

(Reporting by Amy Lv and Dominique Patton in Beijing; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

((Amy.Lv@thomsonreuters.com;))

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