China Daily Steel Output Falls in July as Prices at 33-Month Low

China’s daily steel production in July fell from the previous month as some mills started to cut output as prices fell to the lowest in 33 months.

Output was 1.99 million metric tons a day last month, compared with 2 million tons in June, which was the second highest on record, based on monthly data collated by the National Bureau of Statistics. Total crude-steel production was 61.69 million tons in July, the bureau said today, and 60.2 million tons in June.

Domestic steel prices in China have dropped 17 percent from April to the lowest level since Nov. 2009, overwhelmed by rising capacity and sluggish demand from builders and makers of machinery and appliances. Major Chinese steelmakers, including Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., posted a combined 96 percent drop in first-half earnings, the China Iron and Steel Association said July 31.

China’s export growth collapsed and imports and new yuan loans trailed estimates in July, adding to signs the global economy is weakening. A survey of purchasing managers in China indicated that manufacturing teetered on the edge of contraction last month, with a government gauge at 50.1. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

A total of 58 blast furnaces nationwide have been halted for maintenance as of Aug. 3, affecting daily iron output by 145,900 tons, according to the researcher

Daily steel output may drop to between 1.85 million tons and 1.9 million tons in August, Mirae Assets Securities Co. analysts Shirley Zhao and Henry Liu said in an e-mailed note dated Aug. 10.

— With assistance by Helen Yuan

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