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METALS-Lead hits near three-week high on winter demand, China

* LME/ShFE arb: http://bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Adds comments, updates prices)

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Lead touched its highest level in nearly three weeks on Friday amid supply concerns as China steps up pollution inspections just as seasonal demand for the metal in batteries increases.

Most other industrial metals also rose, supported by strong manufacturing data in much of Asia and Europe.

Lead production in China is expected to be hit by a crackdown on smog after authorities ordered the shutdown of polluting facilities.

"We're hearing that there are a lot more inspections, monitoring and maybe some temporary shutdowns, generally constraints on lead producers," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale.

The peak demand period for lead, mainly used to make batteries, is the winter when freezing weather causes battery failures.

"Fundamentally, if you're looking for a seasonality play, lead would be number one, maybe getting a demand boost from a colder winter than people expected," Bhar added.

* LEAD: Benchmark lead was the best performer on the London Metal Exchange, rising 2.2 percent to trade at $2,525 a tonne by 1530 GMT, the highest since Nov. 13.

* LEAD SPREADS: Cash LME lead moved to a 50 cent premium over the benchmark three-month contract, indicating tightness of nearby supply, compared with a discount of $12.50 on Tuesday.

* FACTORIES: The wider base metals complex got a boost after data showed global manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in years last month and the second-best in two decades in the euro zone, driven by robust demand.

* CAIXIN: While the Caixin/Markit survey of China's manufacturing activity grew at the weakest pace in five months in November, this is a survey largely focused on small and mid-sized companies. .

"For the Chinese PMI numbers to hold up as well as they have ... suggests that despite the (winter smog) closures, end-user Chinese demand is not being impacted all that much," said analyst Edward Meir at broker INTL FCStone.

* COPPER: Three-month LME copper rose 0.4 percent to $6,788 a tonne after trading flat in the previous session.

* ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium climbed 1 percent to $2,068.50 a tonne.

* PREMIUMS: A global aluminium producer has offered Japanese buyers a premium of $110 per tonne for primary metal shipments during the January to March period, as much as 17 percent above the current quarter, three sources directly involved in pricing talks said on Friday.

* ZINC: Three month zinc, mainly used for galvanised steel, gained 1.8 percent to $3,212.50 a tonne, supported by Shanghai steel futures, which traded near their strongest level since mid-September.

PRICES: LME nickel gained 2 percent to $11,330 a tonne and tin dipped 0.3 percent to $19,540.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)