UPDATE 1-China Aug refined copper production rises, aluminium at record
(Adds details, recasts)
* August copper at 560,515 tonnes, up 4.9 pct on month
* August Aluminium at record 1.863 million tonnes
By Polly Yam
HONG KONG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - China's refined copper production rose 4.9 percent in August, reversing a fall the previous month, as some smelters likely stepped up operations ahead of seasonal demand hike in September-October.
China, the world's top producer and consumer of refined copper and primary aluminium, produced 560,515 tonnes of refined copper in August, the third-highest this year.
The output was 11.2 percent up from August 2012, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.
"The August output was higher than we had expected. Some smelters may have increased production as they expect more demand around September and October," said Yang Xiaoguang, analyst at Jinrui Futures, a subsidiary of top producer Jiangxi Copper Corporation.
Seasonal demand had risen in September to November in previous years. This year, some end-users were buying refined copper to build stocks as they expected orders to rise, he said.
Yang said refined copper production should rise further in September.
A large copper smelter has planned to temporarily shut a 200,000 tonnes of capacity between late August and late September for maintenance, which may affect the September production, traders said.
Refined copper production rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier to 4.325 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2013.
China's primary aluminium production rose 1.3 percent from the previous month, hitting a record 1.863 million tonnes in August 2013, the data showed.
The output increased 5.2 percent from August 2012.
New capacity in northwestern regions such as Xinjiang had helped push up aluminium production, Yang said.
The bulk of existing operating capacity was still running, thought some were making losses due to low prices, he added.
Spot aluminium prices AL-A00-CCNMM in China have fallen near 5 percent so far this year to 14,340 yuan ($2,300) on Thursday because of oversupply problem in the industry.
China produced 14.349 million tonnes of primary aluminium in the first eight months of the year, up 8.2 percent from the same months in 2012, the data showed.
Henan was the top producing province in August with 274,140 tonnes. Xinjiang, the new power house of aluminium production, was the second-largest with 218,261 tonnes in August 2013.
($1 = 6.1185 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by William Hardy)
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