Tuesday, September 21

China Aug aluminum output falls for 4th month as supply cuts mount

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China’s aluminum output in August slipped for a fourth straight month, hitting its lowest in more than a year, official data showed on Wednesday, as restrictions on metal production and power usage in key smelting hubs keep supply tight.

The world’s top producer of the metal produced 3.16 million tonnes of primary aluminum last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was down 3.2% from 3.263 million tonnes in July but up 0.4% year-on-year.

August’s monthly and daily aluminum output levels were both at the lowest since July 2020.

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Restrictions on energy-intensive primary aluminum production in China have hampered the industry this year, as regions suffering from power shortages or under pressure to reduce emissions tell smelters to cut back.

Furthermore, to stop what it said was illegal over-production, a prefecture in the western Xinjiang region last month ordered a 10% cut in monthly output levels for August-December across five smelters. Xinjiang is home to almost one-fifth of the country’s primary aluminum capacity.

China’s output of 10 nonferrous metals – including copper, aluminum, lead, zinc and nickel – was 5.3 million tonnes in August, the statistics bureau said, its lowest monthly total in a year. That was down 1.3% from 5.367 million tonnes in July but up 0.4% year-on-year.

The other metals in this group are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium. (Reporting by Emily Chow and Tom Daly; Editing by Richard Pullin and Tom Hogue)


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