London, 14 December (Argus) — China’s November aluminium production fell to its lowest since February 2016 as China’s winter capacity cutbacks have started to bite, National Bureau of Statistics data show. Primary aluminium output fell by 17pc on the year and by 7.8pc on the month to 2.35mn t in November. This was the fifth consecutive month that China’s primary aluminium output has fallen. Producers and local governments have confirmed their commitment to capacity cuts of around 30pc during the winter heating season that runs from 15 November to 15 March, in addition to shutdowns of unauthorised capacity. Closure of capacity is expected to reduce supply by 3mn-4mn t/yr during the winter heating season. Stock-building ahead of environmental cuts pushed aluminium inventories on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) to record highs this year. SHFE aluminium stocks on warrant stood at 670,454t on 8 December, compared with 86,662t on 9 December 2016. The three-month LME aluminium contract has risen by a fifth this year — to $2,033.50/t on 14 December from $1,693/t on 3 January.

Non-ferrous metal output falls

China’s output of 10 types of non-ferrous metal — copper, aluminium, zinc, lead, tin, mercury, nickel, titanium, antimony and magnesium — fell by 6.9pc year on year to 4.32mn t in November. All eight private-sector antimony producers in the Lengshuijiang region were forced to stop production at the end of November following a new wave of environmental restrictions. Titanium production fell in November because of lower domestic demand.

Article Retrieved by: