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UPDATE 1-China crude steel output falls in Sept, may rebound in Oct

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* Avg daily output at 1.858 mln T, down 1.9 pct from Aug

* October output seen rebounding on rising steel prices

(Adds comment, table)By Ruby Lian and Fayen Wong

SHANGHAI, Oct 11 (Reuters) - China's average daily crudesteel output fell to 1.843 million tonnes between Sept 21-30,down 0.74 percent from the preceding 10 days, data from theChina Iron & Steel Association (CISA) showed on Thursday.

A steep decline in steel prices in August and earlySeptember forced Chinese steel mills to cut production tominimise losses, as the slowing economy in the world's topsteel-producing region hit demand.

Average daily steel output dropped to 1.858 million tonnesfor the whole of September, the CISA data showed, down 1.9percent from 1.894 million tonnes in August.

The association's estimates on the country's total outputare based on its membership of around 70 large state-owned steelmills that account for about 80 percent of the country's totalsteel output.

Some industry sources said actual steel production inSeptember was higher than the CISA estimates, however, as recentgains in steel prices would have prompted mills, particularlysmaller private ones, to lift production.

"Some small and medium-sized privately-owned steel mills,which are quite flexible in arranging production, have beenencouraged to increase output in the face of rising steelprices," said Hu Yanping, an analyst with industry consultancyCusteel.com.

"A survey we carried out showed that the utilization rate of148 blast furnaces in Tangshan (Hebei province), rose in lateSeptember. So the real output could be higher."

Shanghai rebar futures

have surged to a two-monthhigh, recovering almost 15 percent from a record low hit inearly September, as demand picks up seasonally when constructionactivity are accelerates.

"The continuous rise in steel prices has increased profitmargins for steel mills. I expect output to accelerate inOctober," said Qiu Yuecheng, an analyst with Xiben New Line CoLtd, a spot steel products trading platform in Shanghai.

Qiu said that most privately-owned steel mills are able togenerate profits of between 100 yuan ($16) and 200 yuan pertonne.

China's biggest listed steelmaker, Baoshan Iron & Steel

, surprisingly kept its November prices unchanged,suggesting it is cautious on the near-term market outlook.

The following table shows changes in daily output since thebeginning of the year.

Period Daily Changeoutput (mln (pct)T)Sept 21-30 1.843 -0.7Sept 11-20 1.857 -2.0Sept 1-10 1.895 +1.2Aug 21-31 1.872 -3.1Aug 11-20 1.930 -2.0Aug 1-10 1.970 +1.1July 21-31 1.949 -2.2July 11-20 1.993 +1.8July 1-10 1.958 -0.4Jun 21-30 1.965 -0.3Jun 11-20 1.971 -1.4Jun 1-10 1.999 +2.0May 21-31 1.960 -3.9May 11-20 2.040 -0.3May 1-10 2.045 +0.5Apr 21-30 2.035 +1.5Apr 11-20 2.005 -1.3Apr 1-10 2.031 +7.4Mar 21-31 1.890 -1.5Mar 11-20 1.919 +1.1Mar 1-10 1.898 +13Feb 21-29 1.679 -1.2Feb 11-20 1.699 +0.2Feb 1-10 1.696* +1.3Jan 21-31 1.673 +0.2Jan 11-20 1.669 -1.3Jan 1-10 1.691 +3.9* CISA revised Feb 1-10 output to 1.696 million tonnes from1.705 million tonnesCompiled by Reuters($1 = 6.2833 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Ruby Lian and Fayen Wong; Editing by JacquelineWong)

((ruby.lian@thomsonreuters.com)(+86 21 6104 1797)(ReutersMessaging: ruby.lian.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CHINA STEEL/OUTPUT

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