July 16, 2018 / 3:09 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-China June aluminium production rises as smelters ramp up

* June aluminium production at 2.83 million tonnes

* Non-ferrous output at 4.62 million tonnes in June (Adds detail, background)

BEIJING, July 16 (Reuters) - China’s aluminium output in June rose 1.6 percent from the previous month to 2.83 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday, as a gradual ramp-up of new smelting capacity raised production.

On a daily basis, the world’s top aluminium producer churned out 94,000 tonnes of the metal last month, compared with 90,000 tonnes in May, which had one extra day, according to Reuters calculations based on the data. {nL4N1TG1JK]

The daily figure is the highest since June 2017 and the second-highest ever, according to Reuters records based on NBS data on its website.

However, the NBS said on Monday that June output was up 0.8 percent year-on-year. The data released in June 2017 preceded orders to close illegal smelting capacity in eastern China’s Shandong province, as well as environmental restrictions on output in the autumn and winter seasons.

The NBS may be using a revised figure for its year-ago comparison that has not been updated on its website, which still shows June 2017 output at 2.93 million tonnes, or 97,666 tonnes per day.

Shanghai aluminium prices fell by 4.1 percent in June, squeezing smelters’ margins, but a favourable price arbitrage to international markets saw exports rise to 510,000 tonnes, the second-highest figure on record, according to data released on July 13.

Jackie Wang, an analyst at CRU in Beijing, said production rose because of the recent launch of new smelting capacity in the Guangxi, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi regions rather than any incentive to export aluminium products.

However, the ramp-ups “are much slower than people’s expectations,” she added.

In the first six months of the year, China produced 16.47 million tonnes of aluminium, a rise of 1.6 percent from the same period last year, the NBS data showed.

Production of 10 nonferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 4.62 million tonnes in June, the highest level since December.

Year-to-date output was up 3.1 percent at 26.85 million tonnes. The other non-ferrous metals are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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