Chinese Government Says Aluminium Output Continued to Fall in October

Chinese Government Says Aluminium Output Continued to Fall in October

According to numbers released by Beijing on Tuesday, aluminium output from smelters in the People’s Republic of China fell for the fourth consecutive month in October.

Numbers supplied by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) claim that the Middle Kingdom produced 2.55 million metric tons over the course of the tenth month of the year, down by 2.3 percent from September’s total of 2.61 million metric tons. October’s total was also down year-on-year from last October’s total output of 2.73 million metric tons, according to the bureau’s figures.

Production in the first ten months of 2017 totaled 27.23 million metric tons, a 3.7-percent rise in production over the same period last year.

Though the official numbers are on a course to set a yearly record, the government’s numbers purport to tell a tale of a dramatic drop off in monthly growth, down significantly from double-digit increases in the late winter and early spring months.

The ex-China smelting community is banking on Beijing staying true to its words over the coming months, as the Ministry of Environmental Protection has promised a “battle plan” involving production cuts in 28 northern and eastern cities in order to rein in the smog that besets those cities in the winter months thanks to increased burning of coal. State officials say cuts of at least 30 percent in aluminium and alumina production are slated to take place between today and mid-March of next year.

Cuts in aluminium production may not be as deep as initially promised, however. In addition, many experts have long called into question government aluminium production numbers, doubting both base-line figures and numbers for any claimed cuts mandated by the government. Such cuts, they posit, are unlikely to be made due to significant corruption at the local level, insuring actual cuts will never be made.