UPDATE 1-China avg daily steel output slips to 1.901 mln T in late Dec -CISA

Tue Jan 8, 2013 9:38pm EST

Related Topics

* Marks third fall in a row in December
    * Steel mills producing rebar curb output as demand slows
    * But some analysts say figure underestimated as flat steel
mills raised output

 (Adds background, analyst comment)
    By Ruby Lian and Fayen Wong
    SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China's daily crude steel output
slipped 0.5 percent between Dec. 21-31 from the preceding 10
days, the third consecutive fall during the month as steel mills
curbed output amid slowing demand, data from an industry portal
showed on Wednesday.
    The average daily crude steel output in the world's largest
steel producer fell to 1.901 million tonnes between Dec. 21-31,
the lowest level since end-September, industry website
Custeel.com said, citing data from the China Iron & Steel
Association.
    For CISA's steel output report, click on 
    Demand for some steel products traditionally declines during
winter months as construction activity, particularly in northern
regions, is dampened by cold weather, hitting consumption of
long products including rebar and wire rod.
    Some analysts said the output number was severely
underestimated, however, as large steel mills, producing flat
steel products for manufacturing, did not slash output.
    "There was little chance that steel mills would give up the
opportunity to raise output when steel prices rose," said Cheng
Xubao, an analyst with Custeel.
    Spot prices of hot-rolled coil, used in manufacturing, have
risen about 23 percent since early September. The price of
rebar, mainly used in construction, climbed only 6 percent since
early September, according to Xiben New Line Co Ltd, a spot
steel trading platform in Shanghai. 
    The utilization rate of 146 blast furnaces in Tangshan city,
Hebei province in northern China, was 98.3 percent in December
from 91.6 percent in October, Custeel data showed.
    CISA estimated the country's total production based on its
members, which comprise nearly 80 large steel mills that account
for about 80 percent of China's total steel output.  
    The following table shows changes in daily output since the
beginning of the year.        
 Period       Daily      Change
              output     (pct)
              (mln T)    
 Dec 21-31    1.901      -0.5
 Dec 11-20    1.911      -1.75
 Dec 1-10     1.945      -0.76
 Nov 21-30    1.960      +0.4
 Nov 11-20    1.952      -0.25
 Nov 1-10     1.957      +1.6
 Oct 21-31    1.926      -3.7
 Oct 11-20    1.999      +4.3
 Oct 1-10     1.916      +4.0
 Sept 21-30   1.843      -0.7
 Sept 11-20   1.857      -2.0
 Sept 1-10    1.895      +1.2
 Aug 21-31    1.872      -3.1
 Aug 11-20    1.930      -2.0
 Aug 1-10     1.970      +1.1
 July 21-31   1.949      -2.2
 July 11-20   1.993      +1.8
 July 1-10    1.958      -0.4
 Jun 21-30    1.965      -0.3
 Jun 11-20    1.971      -1.4
 Jun 1-10     1.999      +2.0
 May 21-31    1.960      -3.9
 May 11-20    2.040      -0.3
 May 1-10     2.045      +0.5
 Apr 21-30    2.035      +1.5
 Apr 11-20    2.005      -1.3
 Apr 1-10     2.031      +7.4
 Mar 21-31    1.890      -1.5
 Mar 11-20    1.919      +1.1
 Mar 1-10     1.898      +13
 Feb 21-29    1.679      -1.2
 Feb 11-20    1.699      +0.2
 Feb 1-10     1.696*     +1.3
 Jan 21-31    1.673      +0.2
 Jan 11-20    1.669      -1.3
 Jan 1-10     1.691      +3.9
 * CISA revised Feb 1-10 output to 1.696 million tonnes from
1.705 million tonnes
 Compiled by Reuters



 (Editing by Joseph Radford)
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