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METALS-Shanghai aluminium slips to lowest since Dec 2016 on oversupply fears

(adds analyst comment, updates prices) BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday, slipping below the 14,000 yuan ($2,213) a tonne mark for the first time since late 2016, just two days before winter output restrictions on Chinese smelters are due to be lifted. China ordered smelters in 28 northern cities to cut aluminium output by at least 30 percent from mid-November to mid-March as part of an anti-pollution campaign. Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau said the March 15 restart had already been priced in, but new smelting capacity in China was adding even more supply to the market. "I'm sure a lot of these new smelters are keen to increase their production to full capacity as early as possible," Lau said, looking to recover their investment, even at low prices. The new plants may be able to break even below 14,000 yuan a tonne, she added. Many Chinese smelters are losing money at current price levels, industry sources say.

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most traded May aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was down 2.1 percent at 13,835 yuan at 0344 GMT. It earlier touched 13,820 a tonne, its lowest since Dec. 26, 2016.

* LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) edged up 0.1 percent to $2,092.50 a tonne, after closing down 1.4 percent in the previous session, its lowest in almost three months.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME edged down 0.1 percent to $6,907.50 a tonne and ShFE copper fell 0.4 percent to 51,840 yuan a tonne.

* CHINA MINISTRIES: Top metals consumer China said it will merge its banking and insurance regulators and create a new agricultural and rural village ministry, a parliament document released on Tuesday showed, in the biggest ministry shake-up in years.

* CANADA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on Monday he would defend them against possible U.S. tariffs and called U.S. President Donald Trump to stress that "mutually beneficial" cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

* JAPAN: Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a premium of $129 per tonne for shipments from global producers in the April to June quarter, reflecting soaring U.S. spot premiums, two sources directly involved in the pricing talks said on Monday. For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks stalled on Tuesday as Wall Street shares lost steam, while the dollar sagged on the back of declining U.S. yields.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1000 U.S. NFIB business optimism index Feb 1230 U.S. Consumer prices Feb 1500 U.S. Cleveland Fed CPI Feb

PRICES

0344 GMT

Three month LME copper 6907.5 Most active ShFE copper 51840 Three month LME aluminium 2092.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 13830 Three month LME zinc 3258 Most active ShFE zinc 25105 Three month LME lead 2343.5 Most active ShFE lead 18175 Three month LME nickel 13705 Most active ShFE nickel 103960 Three month LME tin 21400 Most active ShFE tin 146360 LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 1008.91 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1537.26 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 674.01 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 146.77 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1383.11

($1 = 6.3270 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)