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China June aluminium falls for second month as power curbs weigh

China's primary aluminium output hit multi-year highs in the first half but production in June fell for a second straight month, official data showed on Thursday, as limits on power consumption in the smelting hub of Yunnan reined in production.

China June aluminium falls for second month as power curbs weigh

Aluminium bar stock is seen inside a factory in Dongguan, China April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

BEIJING: China's primary aluminium output hit multi-year highs in the first half but production in June fell for a second straight month, official data showed on Thursday, as limits on power consumption in the smelting hub of Yunnan reined in production.

The world's top producer of the metal increased first half aluminium output to the most since at least 2015, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) records.

It produced 19.64 million tonnes of aluminium in January-June, up 10.1per cent from the first half of 2020, the data showed, as smelters were encouraged by aluminium prices well above break-even levels.

For June, China churned out 3.29 million tonnes of the metal, the NBS said. That was down from May's 3.32 million tonnes, but up 9.3per cent year on year.

Output was around 109,667 tonnes a day in June, versus 107,000 tonnes in May, which had one more day, according to Reuters calculations based on the NBS data.

Yunnan, home to about a tenth of China's aluminium capacity thanks to abundant hydropower resources, ordered smelters to reduce energy consumption in late May after severe drought hampered electricity generation.

The curbs remained in place for much of June and analysts say it could take smelters in Yunnan until August to start ramping up output again.

Output of 10 nonferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – was 5.49 million tonnes in June, the NBS said.

That was down from 5.45 million tonnes in May, which was the lowest since October 2020, but up 8per cent year-on-year.

First-half production for this group - which also includes tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium - was up 11per cent year-on-year at 32.55 million tonnes.

(Reporting by Shivani Singh and Tom Daly; Editing by Kim Coghill and Richard Pullin)

Source: Reuters

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