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BEIJING: China's annual aluminium output rose 4.8% from the previous year to a record in 2021, official data showed on Monday, reaching 38.5 million tonnes despite curbs on energy consumption at factories imposed to meet climate goals last year.

Primary aluminium output for December was 3.11 million tonnes, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, slightly up from 3.10 million tonnes in November and 4% lower year-on-year.

On a daily basis, the December output worked out to about 100,300 tonnes a day versus about 103,300 tonnes in November - the lowest daily rate since July 2020, according to Reuters' calculations.

Europe’s aluminium smelters cut output

"In 2021, we had a strong first half, but the energy shortages and coal problems handicapped the growth. We expect minimal increase in production (in 2022) due to similar reasons," said Paul Adkins, managing director of aluminium consultancy AZ China.

"We expect demand to exceed supply in 2022, leading to increased imports."

Energy-intensive aluminium production in some Chinese regions was cut last year due to government efforts to curb power consumption amid a supply crunch.

Meanwhile, output of 10 non-ferrous metals, including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel, was 5.47 million tonnes in December, the statistics bureau said, up from 5.35 million tonnes in November, but down 3.8% year-on-year.

Annual production of the 10 nonferrous metals for 2021 was at 64.54 million tonnes, also a new record high and up 5.4% from 61.68 million tonnes in the previous year.

The other metals in the group are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium.

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