BEIJING – China’s production of non-ferrous metals kept steady growth during the first quarter, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said Tuesday.

Output of non-ferrous metals hit 14.17 million tons, up 2.1 percent year-on-year.

Weighed down by the novel coronavirus epidemic, profits of major non-ferrous metal companies dived 31.4 percent year-on-year to 15.3 billion yuan ($2.19 billion).

Prices of non-ferrous metals recorded drastic falls both at home and abroad during the first quarter, and staged a recovery in April, Jia Mingxing, vice chairman of the association, told a press conference.

“Domestic demand picked up as downstream enterprises sped up work resumption, but the worldwide spread of the coronavirus pandemic has thrown adverse impacts on the industry’s recovery,” Jia said.

About 92.9 percent of China’s non-ferrous metal firms and producers of copper and aluminum have resumed production as of Sunday, data showed.

Jia forecast that the country’s non-ferrous metal production will continue to expand steadily in the second quarter, despite mounting pressure on exports of such metals.

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