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China Steel Output Surges While Car Sales Stall

Steel News - Published on Fri, 16 Nov 2018

Image Source: ShareCafe
Share Cafe reported that more confusing signals from the Chinese economy that leave us none the wiser about its real state of health. There are certain weaknesses, such as retail sales and cars but key production data showed a very solid month. That’s especially so when figures out showed the country’s crude steel production was the highest in history last month 82.55 million tonnes and clearly ahead of the previous high of 81.24 million tonnes in July.

Confirming the uptick in output and perhaps new project spending, China’s October crude steel output was up 9.1% year on year from October’s figure was up from 80.85 million tonnes in September and 80.32 million tonnes in August.

The rise comes ahead of the expected capacity closures starting this week to try and reduce pollution in northern Chinese industrial cities, although the restrictions are far more flexible this winter than a year ago.

China’s 9 month, January to October crude steel output was up 6.4% on year to 782.5 million tonnes. That’s up from the 5.8% rise in August and confirms the continuing strength in steel demand and production.

And yet car sales fell last month to be down four months in a row. Steel, of course, is a major component of car making.

While there remain clear signs of a slowing pace of activity weaker retail sales, especially those falling motor vehicles sales, weaker surveys of manufacturing and services activity, but imports and exports remain buoyant, production is a bit better, government spending is rising, but the picture from the important real estate sector also remains mixed.

On top of this, while industrial price inflation slows (despite higher oil prices), consumer price inflation remains stuck at moderate levels, without any strains showing.

Take the most positive news from the last dump of Chinese economic data for October industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.9% in October from 5.8% (a decade or more low) in September and while urban investment picked up surprisingly, perhaps due to higher government stimulus spending.

A negative was news that China’s retail sales growth slowed to 8.6% in October from a year earlier and from a 9.2% rate in September.

October’s was the slowest rate since May of this year and came on the 4th monthly fall in car sales in a row, weaker food prices and a slowing in real estate sales growth and investment.

Fixed-asset investment increased 5.7%, up from 5.4% in September (and multi-decade lows) in the 10 months through October.

The market had been looking at another slowing to an annual rate of 5.5% so the better than forecast outcome might also be due to higher central government stimulus spending.

Source :

Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Fri, 16 Nov 2018
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