China's steel production slowed down with a 4.4% fall in daily output from a record high a month earlier, statistics data showed.
In July, the daily finished steel output averaged 3.41 million tonnes, down from a multi-year high of 3.57 million tonnes in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on August 14.
Full-month production declined 1.2% month on month to 105.82 million tonnes, which was still 9.6% higher compared with the same month last year.
Daily output of crude steel averaged 2.75 million tonnes, down 5.8% month on month, adding to a total of 85.22 million tonnes in the whole month, up 5% year on year but down 2.6% from June.
Pig iron production totaled 68.31 million tonnes in July, up 0.6% YoY yet down 2.6% month on month. Daily average was 2.2 million tonnes, a 5.7% decrease MoM.
Over the first seven months, productions of finished steel, crude steel and pig iron were respectively at 697.76 million (11.2% YoY), 577.06 million (9% YoY) and 473.44 million tonnes (6.7% YoY).
The decrease is mainly associated with environmental restriction in Hebei, the largest steelmaking province in the country. Tangshan and Handan issued detailed production restriction plans, where 30-50% capacity was curbed at steel mills.
Steel production was expected to decline again in August. More than 30 mills in Shandong, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Sichuan and Fujian have announced to cut steel production by at least 1.15 million tonnes this month, to halt price declines that have dragged many of them into losses.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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