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UPDATE 1-China April aluminium output grows 3.9% on year as smelters restart

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* China April aluminium output at 2.92 mln tonnes - stats bureau
* Daily rate is 3rd-highest on record - Rtrs calculations
* Smelters are restarting as aluminium prices climb - analysts


(Adds milestone, background)


By Tom Daly


BEIJING, May 15 (Reuters) - China's aluminium output rose from the previous month to its third-highest daily rate on record in April, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, as smelters ramped up production to cash in on higher prices.


The world's top aluminium producing country churned out 2.92 million tonnes of the metal last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. That was up 1.4% from 2.88 million tonnes in March, which saw the end of winter restrictions on output aimed at curbing pollution, and was up 3.9% year-on-year, the bureau said.


In the first four months of the year, China produced 11.48 million tonnes of aluminium, a rise of 4.1 percent from the same period last year, the data showed.


Shanghai aluminium prices rose by 3.3% in April, their best month in a year, moving above the 14,000 yuan
($2,036.36) a tonne mark that is considered a break-even threshold for many Chinese smelters.


Analysts say the rally has seen smelters restart capacity they previously shut as prices slumped in the second half of 2018, although it can take several months to ramp up to full production.


On a daily basis, output averaged around 97,300 tonnes last month, according to Reuters calculations, up from around 92,900 in March. It was the highest daily rate since December's record 98,400 tonnes a day and the third-highest on record. Meanwhile, output of 10 nonferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel - came in at 4.74 million tonnes in April, the bureau said. That was up 1.5% from 4.67 million tonnes in March and up 4.9% year-on-year, the bureau said.


Year-to-date nonferrous output was up 5.2% at 18.64 million tonnes. The other metals in the group are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium.


($1 = 6.8750 Chinese yuan renminbi)


(Reporting by Tom Daly Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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