© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-Employees work on the production line at a Baowu Group steel mill in Ezhou, Hubei province, China June 21, 2023. REUTERS/Amy Lv/file photo

BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s crude steel output posted a month-on-month rise of 1.1% and year-on-year growth of 0.4% in June, the statistics bureau said on Monday, as mills were encouraged to ramp up production after steel prices rose.

The world’s largest steel producer manufactured 91.11 million metric tons of the ferrous metal last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, higher than 90.12 million metric tons manufactured in May and 90.73 million metric tons in the same month in 2022.

The average daily steel output in June stood around 3.04 million metric tons, up from 2.91 million metric tons in May and higher than 3.02 million metric tons in June 2022, respectively, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS data.

Production from both the blast furnace-based steelmakers and electric arc furnace-based (EAF) steel mills picked up given decent margins, contributing to higher overall output last month, said Pei Hao, a Shanghai-based senior analyst at international brokerage firm FIS.

The blast furnace capacity utilisation rate among the surveyed 247 steelmakers climbed to 92.11% by the end of June from 89.93% in late May, data from consultancy Mysteel showed.

Meanwhile, the capacity utilisation rate among surveyed 34 electric arc furnace steel mills climbed to 42% in late June, up from 37% by the end of May, according to data from Shanghai Metals Market.

China produced 535.64 million metric tons of the ferrous metal in the first half of the year, up 1.3% from the same period last year, NBS data showed.

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