BEIJING : China's primary aluminium production in November climbed 9.4 per cent from a year earlier as looser power restrictions allowed some regions to ramp up output and as new smelters started operation.
The world's top aluminium producer churned out 3.41 million tonnes of primary aluminium last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. China's output has risen in each of the last nine months compared with year-ago figures, after strict electricity usage restrictions in 2021 had caused significant declines in output.
The long-term demand outlook for the metal, used heavily in construction and transportation, is also improving after China relaxed its COVID 19-related restrictions and the government issued new measures to support the ailing property sector.
The most-traded aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange averaged 18,845 yuan ($2,707) a tonne in November, up 6.1 per cent from the previous month.
Many producers also saw better profits last month, boosted by lower thermal coal prices, according to information provider Mysteel. Average profit at smelters was 1,173 yuan a tonne in November, up 348 yuan from the prior month, it said.
"Many aluminium producers are looking to ramp up production as long as the power supply allows, given profit of more than 1,000 yuan and good demand prospects next year," a Shanghai-based aluminium trader said.
Aluminium producers in China's southwestern region, chiefly Sichuan province and the Guangxi region, ramped up production last month while new capacity was launched in northern China's Inner Mongolia region.
That offset production cuts in central China's Henan province and lower production in southwestern Yunnan province due to tight hydropower supply since September.
November's number is equivalent to average daily output of 113,667 tonnes, compared with 111,290 tonnes in October.
In the first 11 months of the year China produced 36.77 million tonnes, a rise of 3.9 per cent from the same period last year, the data showed.
Production of 10 nonferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – rose 8.8 per cent in November from a year earlier to 5.88 million tonnes. Year-to-date output was up 4.2 per cent at 61.81 million tonnes. The other non-ferrous metals are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium.
($1 = 6.9604 Chinese yuan renminbi)