HONG KONG, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Russian aluminium giant United Company Rusal Plc said on Monday its 2017 aluminium production increased 0.6 percent from a year ago to 3.707 million tonnes. Hong Kong-listed Rusal said its aluminium sales rose 3.6 percent year on year in 2017 to 3.955 million tonnes and the average realized price jumped 21.5 percent to $2,105 per tonne. Rusal estimated that global aluminium demand grew by 6 percent from a year ago to 64 million tonnes in 2017 amid strong demand across all geographical regions, while robust demand growth left the global aluminum market in a deficit of around 1 million tonnes, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse. Demand for aluminum in China grew 7.8 percent during the year to 34.9 million tonnes, it said. In November, Rusal posted a 30 percent jump in third-quarter core earnings, helped by higher aluminium prices and rising sales of value added products. The company’s shares eased 0.8 percent in Hong Kong on Monday morning. That compared with a 1.9 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng index.