* Daily production rate at 2.2 mln T, down 4.6 pct from June
* Mills cut output during off-season
BEIJING Aug 13 China produced 68.32 million
tonnes of crude steel in July, down 1.4 percent from the month
before as mills began cutting output during the off-season.
The daily production rate amounted to 2.20 million tonnes,
down 4.6 percent from a record daily rate of 2.31 million tonnes
in June, data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed
Large-scale mills slashed average daily production by 2.8
percent to 1.757 million tonnes in the last 11 days of July, its
lowest rate since mid April, data from the China Iron and Steel
Association (CISA) showed last week.
The monthly production figure remains 1.5 percent higher
than the same period last year, even though numbers provided by
CISA have shown only a negligible increase in apparent domestic
steel consumption during the first-half of the year.
Much of China's additional steel output has been sold
overseas, with steel product exports in July rising 14 percent
on the month to 8.06 million tonnes.
Total imports over the first seven months of the year have
surged 37 percent to 49.07 million tonnes. Over the same period,
China produced 480.76 million tonnes of crude steel, up 2.7
percent on the year.
China produced 94.76 million tonnes of steel products in
July, up 3.7 percent compared to the same period in 2013, but
down 3.4 percent on the month. Production from January to July
reached 647.23 million tonnes, up 5.8 percent compared to the
same time last year.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Tom Hogue and Joseph