Although the sector's main operation income, measured by industrial enterprises that each post an annual income of more than 20 million yuan, surged by 8.8 percent to more than 4 trillion yuan, higher production costs have resulted in a decline in profits, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The combined output of 10 kinds of non-ferrous metals including copper, aluminum, lead and zinc went up by 4.2 percent to 40.27 million tonnes.
"The industry's production has been stable over the first nine months," said the ministry.
A separate report from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association projected a steady increase in domestic demand.
Given China is speeding up its economic transformation for higher-quality growth, the demand for conventional non-ferrous metals will expand moderately while that for new non-ferrous metals will drastically rise, said the report.
Non-ferrous metals are significant industrial resources and have been widely used in the primary sectors such as transportation, electricity, construction, telecommunication, energy, information technology and materials.