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China’s Nov steel output grows at fastest in over 2 years -stats bureau

China’s steel mills increased output in November at their fastest pace in more than two years, data showed on Tuesday, as robust infrastructure demand spurred producers to expand output for a ninth straight month even as coking coal prices bite.
Output rose 5 percent to 66.29 million tonnes year-on-year, the fastest growth since June 2014, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday.
Steelmakers in the world’s top producer ramped up output even as soaring costs of key raw materials, like coking coal and iron ore, eroded margins in recent months.
Wang Yilin, senior steel analyst at Sinosteel Futures, said mills were still making a profit of between 200-600 yuan ($28.98-86.95) per tonne.
“Steel mills want to increase production because of the big profit margins,” she said.
“The steel market has also been driven by strong infrastructure demand, as Beijing has approved more projects this year.”
Compared with October, output dropped 3.24 percent to its lowest level since February ahead of a seasonally slowest period for steel sales from the infrastructure and construction sectors during the colder winter months.
Total output for the first 11 months of 2016 edged up 1.1 percent to 738.94 million tonnes.
Source: DAily Mail