* Copper stocks fall after rising for first time in 2 months
* Aluminium inventories decline to a 3-1/2-month low
* Chinese government to promote structural steel
By Mai Nguyen and Min Zhang
SINGAPORE/BEIJING, May 22 (Reuters) - Copper inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) dropped at the fastest rate in nearly eight months, weekly exchange data showed on Friday.
Copper inventories in ShFE warehouses CU-STX-SGH for the week ending May 22 fell to 175,825 tonnes, down 15.8% from a week earlier and the biggest decline since Sept. 27. Stockpiles fell after rising for the first time in two months in the previous week.
Aluminium stocks in ShFE warehouses AL-STX-SGH extended their downward trend, falling 8.6% from a week earlier to a 3-1/2-month low of 322,060 tonnes, amid solid demand in China, the world’s biggest user and producer of the light metal.
Lead PB-STX-SGH was the only metal with rising stocks in ShFE warehouses this week, up 2.6% to 7,401 tonnes. Inventories of the metal last month hit their lowest since October 2018.
Nickel stockpiles SNI-TOTAL-W fell 2.5% to 26,799 tonnes, tin SSN-TOTAL-W stocks declined 4.1% to 3,368 tonnes while zinc inventories ZN-STX-SGH fell 4.1% to 111,289 tonnes.
Steel stockpiles held by traders in China dropped for the tenth straight week, down 5.5% from a week earlier to 16.2 million tonnes as of Thursday, data compiled by Mysteel consultancy showed.
The traders held 8.4 million tonnes of rebar, 2.5 million tonnes of wire rod, 3 million tonnes of hot-rolled coil, 1.3 million tonnes of cold-rolled coil and 990,000 tonnes of medium plate, Mysteel said.
Weekly output of rebar was 3.9 million tonnes, 1.6 milion tonnes of wire rod, 3.1 million tonnes of hot-rolled coil, 714,000 tonnes of cold-rolled coil and 1.4 million tonnes of medium plate.
Editing by Christian Schmollinger