China steel output hits 7-mth low

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    BEIJING- China’s steel output fell to a seven-month low in October, official data showed on Thursday, as operations at mills were crimped by a week-long national holiday and shrinking profits.

    The world’s top steel-making country produced 81.52 million tons of crude steel in October, down from both 82.77 million tons in September and 82.55 million tons a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. That marked the lowest level since March.

    Average daily output of the industrial metal was 2.63 million tons, down from 2.76 million tons in September, according to Reuters calculations based on the official data.

    The decline in steel output also came amid several waves of anti-pollution alerts, where government seeks to curb output to cut emissions and reduce smog.

    Utilization rates at steel mills in the first week of October – covering China’s week-long National Day celebrations – plunged to 56.2 percent, the lowest in more than seven years, data compiled by Mysteel consultancy showed. – Reuters