METALS-Aluminium hits five-year high as China supply cuts loom

(Recasts, adds comment, detail, and updates prices)

MELBOURNE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - London aluminum struck its highest in five years on Wednesday on prospects that China's winter production are starting early and will soon pare back stocks of available metal.

"For aluminum, certainly this (rally) is related to China's winter production cuts," said analyst Helen Lau at broker Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong.

China has launched an aggressive campaign to curb choking smog in its northern regions, mandating a slew of output cuts by the steel and aluminum producers. Aluminum makers must cut capacity by more than 30 percent across 28 cities.

"In order to get that (magnitude of) impact on production cuts you have to start now. We are likely to see prices go higher. But you should not take it as sustainable - right after the winter production cuts are lifted, probably, the production will restart and the price will come off again," she added.


* LME ALUMINIUM: London Metal Exchange aluminum traded up 2 percent at $2,167, as of 0706 GMT. It hit its highest since September 2012 at $2,182.50 a tonne, following a gain of 1.9 percent in the previous session.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, prices ended up 3.4 pct.

* CHINA OUTPUT: China's aluminum production last month fell to the lowest since April 2016 at 2.64 million tonnes.

* CHINA LEAD: Shfe lead rallied 3.3 pct to its highest since Dec 2016 as China's supply dwindles. Lead has been particularly hard hit by environmental inspections with 80 percent of illegal secondary smelters shut down since the second half of last year, according to research group Antaike.

* LEAD PREMIUMS: Premiums for LME lead in China's bonded zones jumped $10 to $170-$190 amid tightening domestic supply. Lead imports to China <PB-BMPBW-SHMET> have been profitable since early August.

* LME COPPER: LME copper climbed 0.3 percent to $6,558. ShFE copper edged up 0.2 percent to 50,810 yuan. ($7,730)

* INSG: The global nickel market tipped into a wider deficit in July as demand from top stainless steel producer China surged, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed on Wednesday.

* JAPAN ECONOMY: Booming shipments of cars and electronics in August drove up Japan's exports at the fastest pace in nearly four years, further evidence that overseas demand is strong enough to support healthy economic growth.

* COMING UP: Investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting at which it was expected to announce plans to trim its $4.2 trillion in bond holdings. Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to hold news briefing at 1830 GMT.


Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminum

Most active ShFE aluminum

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.5703 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)