UPDATE 1-China Jan-Feb refined copper output up 6.57 pct on year - stats bureau

Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:12am EDT

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By Polly Yam

HONG KONG, March 18 (Reuters) - China's refined copper output in the first two months of 2014 rose 6.57 percent from the same period a year earlier as smelters continued to expand capacity.

Total refined copper production stood at 1,056,793 tonnes in January to February, data from the statistics bureau showed on Tuesday.

The bureau did not release monthly figures for January and February. Output figures are often distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell between late January and early February this year.

The production fell nearly 17 percent from the previous two months in November and December 2013.

"The main reason of lower production was the Lunar New Year holiday," Jinrui Futures' analyst Guo Hao said, of the fall from the previous two months.

Guo said smelters typically slowed operations during the holiday. Monthly production in March would rise from January and February since smelters were operating normally, he added.

Primary aluminium production in the first two months of 2014 rose 7.2 percent to 3,770,375 tonnes, the data showed.

The production fell 3 percent from two months in November and December 2013.

The data also showed that in the first two months of this year, China produced 676,088 tonnes of refined lead, up 6.07 percent year-on-year, and 820,213 tonnes of refined zinc, up 1.16 percent.

Production of nickel rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to 46,295 tonnes in the first two months and of tin surged 14.01 percent to 23,812 tonnes. (Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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