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China March aluminium output climbs to monthly record

China’s aluminium output rose in March from a year earlier to a monthly record, official data showed on Friday, despite curbs on energy use in the smelting hub of Inner Mongolia.

Primary aluminium output in China, the world’s top aluminium producer, was up 8.5% year-on-year at 3.28 million tonnes last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

That beat the previous high for an individual month of 3.27 million tonnes, reached in December 2020.

Daily aluminium output, however, eased in March from the previous two months, Reuters calculations based on official data showed, dropping to around 105,800 tonnes of metal per day versus 109,300 tonnes per day for January-February, a record. The bureau combines data for the first two months of the year rather than publishing details for each month.

Inner Mongolia roiled markets last month after saying it would stop approving new projects for aluminium smelting, which is highly energy-intensive, while its largest city Baotou said it would shutter some industrial production and power plants to meet energy consumption targets.

Meanwhile, output of a group of 10 nonferrous metals – including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – rose 12.7% year-on-year in March to 5.48 million tonnes, the bureau said.

This group also includes tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Tom Daly and Emily Chow; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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