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China Faces Power Hikes That Are Likely to Cut Metals Output

  • Copper, aluminum and zinc production declined last month
  • Electric-arc furnaces to see biggest impact among steel mills
The smelter is melting copper in Jinhua,Zhejiang,China on 23th July, 2020
Photographer: TPG/Getty Images AsiaPac
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China’s energy crisis is likely to mean higher electricity prices, forcing the nation’s army of metals smelters to reduce output and threatening the industrial activity that has underpinned the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. 

In a bid to boost power generation, the government will allow electricity prices to rise by as much as 20%, double the current limit, according to a statement Friday from China’s cabinet. Power costs for the most-energy intensive industries, which would include metals producers, won’t be subject to a cap. China is the biggest producer and consumer of most metals.