BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Output of ten major nonferrous metals in China increased 7.1 percent to 27.26 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year but it was 4.1 percentage points slower than the growth rate during the same period last year.
The figures were released in a report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The report showed copper output grew 7.4 percent in the first three quarters, down 8.8 percentage points from the speed of growth last year.
Lead output grew 11.1 percent and alumina grew 6.7 percent year-on-year, a growth decrease of 4 and 6.7 percentage points respectively.
Zinc output dipped 6.2 percent in the nine months to the end of September, compared with the 3.5-percent year-on-year growth recorded in the same period of 2011, according to the report.
Electrolytic aluminium output growth remained flat at around 10 percent from the same period last year.
The other five major nonferrous metals are nickel, stannum, stibium, magnesium and titanium sponge.
Profits of China's nonferrous metal sector dropped 21 percent year-on-year to 111.5 billion yuan (17.7 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months.
The report showed that major nonferrous metals' prices rose slightly or remained stable in September.
The average futures prices of copper and zinc in Shanghai Futures Exchange stood at 56,459 yuan and 14,755 yuan per tonne in September, up 2.2 percent and 1 percent month-on-month, respectively.
Electrolytic aluminium was trading at 15,462 yuan per tonne in September, falling slightly by 0.1 percent from the previous month.
Despite the growth drops, Zhu Hongren, the chief engineer with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said earlier this week that the nonferrous metal sector had showed signs of stablizing.
China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) improved to 49.8 percent in September from a four-month decline, which makes room for the recovery of the nonferrous metal sector, according to Zhu.