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Chalco posts best profit in almost 8 years on high aluminium prices

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Aluminum Corp of China flag flutters outside its headquarters in Beijing
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(Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China Ltd said on Tuesday its quarterly net profits in July-September jumped more than five-fold year on year, hitting their highest since late 2013 on buoyant aluminium and alumina prices.

The state-controlled company, known as Chalco, said third-quarter net income was 2.23 billion yuan ($349 million), up around 430% from an adjusted 421.25 million yuan a year earlier.

Profits were also up almost 6% from a bumper second quarter and marked Chalco's best result since net income of 2.79 billion yuan in the fourth quarter of 2013, Refinitiv Eikon data show.

Third-quarter revenues meanwhile rose 51.3% year-on-year to 74.19 billion yuan as Shanghai aluminium prices soared to their highest since 2008. The rally came as electricity shortages saw power shortages imposed on Chinese smelters and took about 3 million tonnes of annual supply out of the market.

Chalco's own production was not greatly affected, however, its operational data showed. The company said it produced 2.92 million tonnes of primary aluminium in January-September, up 5.8% year on year. That implies third-quarter production of 960,000 tonnes, up around 6.7% on the year.

Shanghai aluminium has eased around 7% this month as China's government steps up efforts to tame high prices for coal, the main source of power for energy-intensive aluminium smelting.

Spot prices for alumina in China, as assessed by industry data provider SMM, are however still up some 76% year-to-date above 4,000 yuan a tonne, the highest in records going back to 2012.

Chalco, the world's biggest alumina producer, said it produced 12.17 million tonnes of alumina in the first nine months of 2021, up 13.3% year-on-year and implying 3.92 million tonnes for third quarter, up around 10.7% on the year.

($1 = 6.38178 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Robert Birsel)