Official data showed China's output of steel products rose by 19%, to 24.32 million tonnes in July, compared to July 2003. The increase was reported by Mainland Marketing Research, which compiles monthly figures for the National Bureau of Statistics. Steel output for the first seven months grew by 23%, to 161.8 million tones. The figures are noteworthy because many smaller steel plants started shutting down in July when fuel shortages prevented many from securing sufficient supplies of coke to keep going.
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