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Chalco Second-Half Loss Widens on Falling Prices, Alumina Costs

Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest producer, reported a wider second-half loss because of falling prices and higher costs for alumina, which is used to produce the lightweight metal.

The net loss was 4.98 billion yuan ($802 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 174.6 million yuan a year earlier. The result was derived by deducting six-month figures from full-year earnings released yesterday in a statement.

The Beijing-based company yesterday reported a full-year loss of 8.23 billion yuan in 2012, wider than the 5.4 billion yuan median estimate of analysts compiled by Bloomberg. The earnings come after Chalco said in January it had a “substantial” loss as alumina production costs rose 4 percent and prices for aluminum metal were about 7 percent lower than a year ago.

“The slowdown in China economic growth and the macro control policies on real estate resulted in a slowdown of growth of aluminum consumption in China in 2012,” Chalco said in yesterday’s statement, citing that building, transportation and power industries accounted for approximately two-thirds of the aluminum consumption in China.

The pressure of over-supply of aluminum is still strong this year, the company said.

Chalco shares added 0.3 percent to close at HK$3.13 in Hong Kong yesterday, before the earnings announcement. Chalco has declined 18 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 6.7 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

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