China''s PMI of manufacturing sector down in January

Date Feb 01 2010 14:47:32

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Purchasing Managers'' Index (PMI) of China''s manufacturing sector stood at 55.8 percent in January, down 0.8 percentage points from the previous month, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CELP) said on Monday.

It was the 11th straight month for the index to stand above 50 percent, indicating continuous expansion in China''s manufacturing industry.

The figure stood at 56.6 percent in December 2009, the highest since May 2008.

The PMI includes a package of indices to measure manufacturing sector performance. A reading above 50 percent indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 percent signals contraction.

The PMI purchasing prices index rose the most by 1.8 percentage points to 68.5 percent in January from the previous month.

The new export orders index rose 53.2 percent, up 0.6 percentage points in January from the previous month.

The overstocked orders index dropped the most in January, by 2.5 percentage points from the previous month.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, said the PMI in January indicated industrial production would continue to stabilize and the climb in new export orders signaled an improving export situation.

But the climb in purchasing prices might burden enterprises with heavy production costs, Zhang said.

"In general, the Chinese economy is expected to stabilize its recovery trend," said Zhang. "And in general, the Chinese economy is at a critical stage from economic rebound to stable growth."

The survey, conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), covers purchasing and supply managers in more than 700 firms across China. The CFLP launched the PMI in 2005.

The PMI index tumbled to a record low of 38.8 percent in November 2008 as the nation was hit hard by the global economic downturn.

China sees record gold output in 2009

Date Jan 29 2010 15:00:34
China''s gold output jumped 11.34 percent to a record of 313.98 tons in 2009, the China Gold Association said Thursday, securing the country''s position as the world''s largest producer of the yellow metal.

China has dramatically opened bullion markets to active trade in the past decade, including allowing gold to be traded freely on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

"Gold output reached above 300 tons for the first time," the association said on its website, adding that China maintained its position as the world''s top gold producer for the third straight year in 2009.

Nearly 60 percent of China''s gold output in 2009 came from the top five producing provinces: Shandong, Henan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Yunnan.

China had more than 700 gold producers in 2009, down from more than 1,200 firms in 2002 as the industry consolidated. China produced a mere 4.07 tons of gold in 1949.

The China Gold Association gave no figures for last year''s consumption, but China consumed 395.6 tons of gold in 2008.

China said last April its official gold holdings had risen to 1,054 tons from 600 tons in 2003, with the increase attributed to purchases of domestically produced gold to help soak up unsold output.

Metals consultancy GFMS said last month that China would overtake India, the second most populous nation, as the world''s largest gold consumer in 2009.

Total demand is forecast to reach 432 tons as wealthy investors defy the record bullion prices.

Gold inched up to $1,092 an ounce Thursday, well below a lifetime high around $1,226 an ounce struck in early December.


China''s stock market ranks world''s No 2

Date Jan 29 2010 14:53:11

China''s A-share stock market has become the world''s second-largest by market value after the United States, the China Center for Market Value Management (CCMVM) said in a report yesterday.

The report said that as of the end of 2009, the value of the China''s A-share market rose 100.88 percent year-on-year to 24.27 trillion yuan ($3.57 trillion), overtaking Japan''s $3.53 trillion. The US remained as the world''s largest equities market, which was worth $15.08 trillion.

Market value of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges came to $2.70 trillion and $870 billion respectively, ranking the 6th and 16th among world''s bourses.

China''s consumer confidence index rises in Q4 of 2009

Date Jan 29 2010 14:52:20

China''s consumer confidence index (CCI) rose to 103.9 in the fourth quarter last year, up 3.1 percentage points from the previous quarter, said a report released on Jan 26 by the China Economic Monitoring & Analysis Center under the National Bureau of Statistics.

The rise was largely due to consumers'' optimistic judgement on the country''s economic outlook and strong expectation for employment and personal income, said the report.
It also showed 79 percent of Chinese consumers were optimistic toward the country''s macroeconomic situation, an increase of 36 percentage points from the third quarter.

The report revealed that personal income and health remained top concerns, with 43 percent of respondents saying they paid close attention to the issue of personal income.

Some 68 percent of respondents expected price rises this year.

The CCI measures consumers'' opinions on employment, the economy, regular income, the stock market and quality of life.

China''s economy expanded 8.7 percent in 2009 from a year earlier, exceeding the government''s annual growth target of 8 percent.

Iron ore port stocks hit 3-month high

Date Jan 29 2010 14:51:42

Imported iron ore stockpiles at China''s leading ports increased by 310,000 tons last week, hitting a three-month high of 67.42 million tons as of Jan 22, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing industry data.

Shipments from Australia increased by 200,000 tons to 22.23 million tons, compared with the previous week, accounting for 33 percent of the total.

Imports from Brazil reached 18.55 million tons, or 27.5 percent of the total, and iron ore from India accounted for 21.3 percent of the total, reaching 14.35 million tons, according to statistics released by, an industry information provider.

"The actual port stock figure is surely above this level," Xu Xiangchun, the chief analyst for, told the newspaper.

Last week, China''s spot iron ore price fell for the first time in five weeks. Figures from showed that the general price fell 1.4 percent, with the price of imported iron ore slipping 0.6 percent and that of domestically produced ore down 1.6 percent.

Iron ore imports in January may drop slightly from the previous month, judging by the sluggish turnover at the beginning of this month, said Hu Kai, an analyst with, an information website for steels and raw materials. But he added that the import volume will not dip below 50 million tons.

China imported 62.16 million tons of iron ore in December. For the full year of 2009, iron ore imports increased 41.6 percent year-on-year to 627.78 million tons, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

As the world''s biggest importer of iron ore, China secures most of its supplies from Australia, Brazil and India.