In 2006, China made certain progress in upgrading non-ferrous metals industry, and the growth rate of fixed assets investment in non-ferrous metals declined somewhat. The investment in non-ferrous metals industry added up to RMB 1180.8 billion, up 24.1% and the growth rate decreased by 11% over 2005; besides, the investment in non-ferrous metals industry accounted for 12.7% of China's total investment in fixed assets in urban and rural areas. Smelting industry still attracted the largest proportion, yet the newly-started projects in smelting industry was restrained to some extent, and the investment began to transfer towards mines with unsubstantial capital. The investment structure was further improved.
In 2006, China's non-ferrous metal price continued a large rise after hiking for three consecutive years. Main non-ferrous metals experienced a considerable price hike, especially zinc, copper and nickel. In international spot market, the average prices of zinc, copper and nickel are respectively USD 3,275/ton, USD 6,712/ton and USD 24,244/ton, up by 13.71%, 8.25% and 6.46% year-on-year.
The year 2006 also witnessed the historical highest profit of China's non-ferrous metals industry. In the whole year, non-ferrous metals enterprises above designated size generated the industry added value of RMB 358 billion, up 23% over 2005 calculated by comparable prices.
The forthcoming 5 years will remain as the booming period of non-ferrous metals industry, which will be obviously manifested by the continuous rising momentum in production capacity, and 2008-2009 will witness a new peak period in the expansion of smelting industry. According to the current plan, the estimated output of ten of China's non-ferrous metals will be growing at over 10% in 2007-2010, and by the year 2010, the annual output will have exceeded 30 million tons.