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China still calls the tune on industrial input prices

Beijing's environmental and infrastructure drive is firming up commodity markets

China is restricting the output of power-hungry smelters and other industrial plants as it tries to clean up the environment, pushing up the prices of some commodities.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prices of copper, aluminum, zinc and other commodities have escaped the doldrums they fell into last year, setting new highs in recent months, helped by China's drive to clean up its environment and improve its infrastructure.

Prices of three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange temporarily climbed above $7,000 per ton for the first time roughly in three years in October. Aluminum topped $2,200 for the first time in more than five and a half years, and zinc has returned to where it was before the global financial crisis.

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