According to the CNIA, primary output was 1.58Mt n September, up 20.8% y-o-y, although it fell by 1.1% from the previous month.

Total primary output in Jan-Sept of 2011 was 13.48Mt, up 8.25% y-o-y.

In terms of annual rate, September’s production points to 19.24Mt, a record high and 413kt higher than the previous month’s level.

That means the production cutback by smelters plagued by power shortages in Guangxi, Guizhou and Henan was more than offset by improved of utilisation rates at other smelters.

Much of the increase in annualised production could be due to increased efficiency at new smelters in western provinces such as Xinjiang and Ningxia. In September, primary output in Xinjiang was 41.3kt, 13.9kt higher than the previous month, while primary output in Ningxia increased 9.2kt to 112.5kt.