China's refined copper output highest since Dec 2014

BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) – China's refined copper output in September rose by 6.8 percent from a year ago to its highest level since December 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.

Refined copper production was 774,000 tonnes last month, up 3.3 percent from 749,000 tonnes in August, according to the NBS data.

Over the first three quarters, copper output was up 6.3 percent versus the same period a year ago at 6.608 million tonnes because of high demand for the metal in the world's largest copper consumer.

Meanwhile, lead output rose last month by 7 percent from a year ago to 427,000 tonnes, the NBS reported. September output was up 6.5 percent from August.

From January to September, lead production rose by 5.3 percent versus the year ago period to 3.76 million tonnes.

China's iron ore production nudged up 2.2 percent from the previous year to 119.13 million tonnes in September, reaching its highest level since June. Output was 975.684 million tonnes during the first three quarters.

Among other nonferrous metals, zinc output in September slipped by 2.7 percent year-on-year to 537,000 tonnes. However, September production was the highest since June as smelters ramped up operations after the peak maintenance and environmental inspection period passed.

Year-to-date, zinc output was down 2.5 percent at 4.494 million tonnes.

China's aluminium production fell 5.6 percent to 2.61 million tonnes in September, its lowest since April 2016.

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger).