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

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(Corrects to remove milestone reference in first and third paragraphs)

China’s aluminium output in August slipped for a fourth straight month, 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 aluminium last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was down 3.2per cent from 3.263 million tonnes in July but up 0.4per cent year-on-year.

Restrictions on energy-intensive primary aluminium 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 10per cent cut in monthly output levels for August-December across five smelters. Xinjiang is home to almost one-fifth of the country’s primary aluminium capacity.

China’s output of 10 nonferrous metals – including copper, aluminium, 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 1.3per cent from 5.367 million tonnes in July but up 0.4per cent 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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