The world's top aluminium producer churned out 3.17 million tonnes of primary aluminium last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday. That was up from 3.1 million tonnes July and an increase of 5.5% from August 2019.
Average daily output of the metal stood at 102,258 tonnes in August, rising 2.3% from about 100,000 tonnes in July, according to Reuters calculations based on the NBS data.
Production for the January to August period was 24.3 million tonnes, up 2.3% from same period a year earlier.
The rise came as smelters ramped up production to cash in on high aluminium prices. The most-traded aluminium futures contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange inched up 0.2% in August, increasing for the fifth consecutive month.
A new production line with annual capacity at 150,000 tonnes at Henan Shenhuo Group started up in August and said it expects to be at full production this month.
Downstream aluminium demand is also expected to improve with the China Automotive Dealers Association forecasting rising sales in September, when car buying typically peaks in the country.
China's auto sales have risen for the past five months.
The NBS data on Tuesday also showed China's production of 10 nonferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel - rose 6.9% year-on-year to 5.29 million tonnes in August.
January-August output was up 3.3% on an annual basis at 39.89 million tonnes. The other nonferrous metals in this group are tin, antimony, mercury, magnesium and titanium.
(Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Emily Chow in Shanghai; Editing by Christopher Cushing)