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China’s Yunnan re-imposes power curbs on some metal producers

Southwest China’s Yunnan province has started asking some local metal producers to reduce power consumption for the second time in three months, two industry sources and consultancy Aladdiny said on Wednesday.

Zinc and tin smelters in Yunnan have received notices asking them to reduce power use by 25%, Aladdiny said in a note, adding that aluminium producers were not affected as they are still operating at lower rates due to earlier curbs.

Yunnan, whose abundant hydropower resources have seen it become a hub for energy-intensive metal production, restricted smelters’ power use in May after a severe drought, sending zinc, tin and aluminium output lower.

A manager at a tin producer and a source at a zinc producer, both in Yunnan, confirmed their companies had received notices but were unable to say how much their power loads and production would be cut by. Both sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media.

The Yunnan provincial government and Yunnan Power Grid did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Although the drought has eased, Yunnan was last month named as one of China’s worst performing regions in term of meeting energy consumption targets in the first quarter and is under pressure to reduce power use.

Shanghai aluminium prices rose as much as 1.8% to 19,515 yuan ($3,015) a tonne on Wednesday, the highest since May 19. Tin gained 0.1% but zinc fell 0.5%.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Tom Daly; additional reporting by Mai Nguyen and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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