UPDATE 1-China Nov refined copper, aluminium output at records
* Refined copper at 654,803 tonnes in November
* Primary aluminium at 1,953,587 tonnes for the month
* Zinc, tin, nickel output up on month; lead down (Adds comment, other metals)
By Polly Yam
HONG KONG, Dec 11 (Reuters) - China's production of refined copper rose 2.6 percent from October to a third straight monthly record in November due to increased profits at smelters, while primary aluminium output also hit a record for the second straight month.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday that production of refined copper hit 654,803 tonnes in November, compared with 637,958 tonnes in the previous month. The November output was up 23.46 percent from a year ago.
China is the top producer and consumer of refined copper and primary aluminium.
The record monthly output reflected higher profits at China's copper smelters after the value of their raw material concentrate had fallen, said Yang Xiaoguang, analyst at Jinrui Futures, a subsidiary of Jiangxi Copper.
Jiangxi Copper is the top producer followed by Tongling Nonferrous Metals.
Global miners pay treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) to smelters to convert concentrate into refined metal, with the charges deducted from the concentrate sales price, based on London Metal Exchange copper values .
Higher charges are typically seen when supply rises.
Chinese copper smelters received TC/RCs of $113-$120 per tonne and 11.3 cents-12 cents per pound for spot imports of copper concentrate over October to December, compared to below $70 and 7 cents in July, traders said.
China's imports of copper ores and concentrates rose 34 percent in the first ten months of 2013 and monthly imports were expected to stay strong in November and December.
Refined copper output is likely to rise further in December as smelters rush to meet annual production targets, Yang said. He added that meeting the targets was important because some Chinese banks used those figures to determine whether to extend credit to smelters in the coming year.
Refined copper output came in at 6.24 million tonnes for the first 11 months of 2013, up 14.3 percent from a year ago, the data showed.
Production of primary aluminium inched up 0.13 percent month-on-month to a record 1,953,587 tonnes in November, compared to the previous record of 1,951,134 tonnes in October, the same data showed. The November aluminium output was up 15.5 percent from the same month in 2012.
Henan regained its position as the province producing the most aluminium in November with 284,114 tonnes.
Xinjiang fell to the second spot with 274,355 tonnes, after taking over as the top producer for the first time in October.
China is also the top producer of refined lead, refined zinc and tin.
Zinc and tin production rose 0.97 percent month-on-month and 2.55 percent, respectively, to 503,426 tonnes and 15,301 tonnes in November.
Lead production fell 8.67 percent from the previous month to 386,973 tonnes in November due to weak domestic prices PB-1-CCNMM, which have fallen more than 6 percent so far this year.
Production of refined nickel in China was at 30,822 tonnes in November, up 16.12 percent from the previous month. (Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Tom Hogue)