China's imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell 21 per cent in May from a year earlier but retained their top ranking among suppliers for a ninth month in a row.

Customs data showed on Sunday (Jun 20).

Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.2 million tons last month, or 1.69 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

That compared to 6.47 million tons in April and 9.16 million in May 2020.

Imports from second-largest supplier Russia also dropped from a month earlier, to 5.44 million tons, or 1.28 million bpd.

The scale-backs by the top two exporters were in line with a steep annual decline of nearly 15 per cent to this year’s lowest total crude imports into China.

Imports from United Arab Emirates arrivals fell 25 per cent last month from year-ago levels.

That is a possible sign that Iranian oil shipments were slowing further from peaks early this year.

Amid talks between Tehran and world powers to revive the nuclear deal the United States exited in 2018.

Reuters has reported that Iran has sold record amounts of oil since late 2020, disguised as crude oil from other origins that included the UAE and Oman.

The customs’ database also showed a 3.6 per cent year-on-year rise to 1.04 million tons of imports from Malaysia.

Which traders said has been a key transshipment point for heavy crude blends from Venezuela.

Official data has consistently recorded zero imports from Caracas since October 2019.

As dominant state importer CNPC halted loading, fearful of US sanctions.

Venezuela oil, however, had slipped into China, passed on as Malaysian bitumen blend after transshipments in Malaysian waters, analysts said.

Imports from the United States reached 1.07 million tons, nearly doubled the level a year earlier.

Source: Channel News Asia: Business Singapore

Oil spill outside Qingdao port after ship collision

Oil spill outside Qingdao port after ship collision

A vessel collision outside the city of Qingdao is the cause of an oil spill in the Yellow Sea, allegedly caused by the heavy fog of the morning.

A tanker carrying around 1 million barrels of bitumen mix was involved in a collision near the Chinese port city of Qingdao.

Spilling oil into the Yellow Sea, Chinese maritime officials and tanker representatives said on Tuesday (Apr 27).

The collision involving the anchored Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony and the bulk vessel Sea Justice took place at 8.50am local time.

 A Symphony’s manager Goodwood Ship Management said in an e-mail.

“The force of the impact on the forward port side caused a breach in cargo tanks and ballast tanks, with a quantity of oil lost into the ocean,” Goodwood said, adding all of the crew had been accounted for and there were no injuries.

It was not immediately possible to contact the owner of the Sea Justice.

“The oil spill came after a clash between two vessels,” an official for China’s Shandong Maritime Safety Administration told, confirming that no one was injured.

Heavy fog, which has hampered navigation off the Qingdao coast since Monday, led to poor visibility at the time of the collision, Goodwood said.

“Immediately after the violent striking occurred, the master initiated emergency procedures onboard.

Mobilizing the vessel’s oil spill response team and initiating an internal transfer to limit the loss of product,” Goodwood said in an emailed statement.

It said the incident was reported to local authorities and steps to contain and clean up the oil spill had begun.

Although the port’s closure because of “zero visibility” was hindering the efforts.

The Shandong Maritime Safety Administration has instructed other ships in the area to stay at least 10 nautical miles from the A Symphony.

Source: The Star (Malaysia)

China’s economy shows recovery in Q1 of 2021

China’s economy shows recovery in Q1 of 2021

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a record pace of 18.3% year on year during the Q1 of this year.

As it rebounded from a historic contraction a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.

China recorded a year-on-year contraction of 6.8% in the Q1 of 2020, when the country had to pause its economic activities to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Setting the stage for a dramatic rebound this year.

The official data fell between the estimations range.

Beating the lower forecast of 17.9% from a Nikkei survey

And 18% from a Macquarie poll but weaker than the higher end of 19% from a Reuters poll.

China’s recovery has been led by robust exports, benefiting from the global economic recovery along with greater vaccination efforts and a steady pickup in domestic consumption.

Stronger than the 33.8 % jump seen in the first two months of the year and outperforming the growing pace of industrial output, which registered at 14.1% in March.

In the Q1, online retail of goods grew by 25.8 % from the same period last year, accounting for 21.9% of total retail sales.

Meanwhile, data showed that China’s services sector generated more than 14 trillion yuan in value, reaching 58.3% in the Q1 GDP.

This an expansion from last year’s 54.5%, which vindicates the sector’s pillar role in China’s economy, according to Liu.

Who believes the services sector will get a boost from China’s rising rate of inoculated population and continue to lead China’s economic growth this year.

On a quarterly basis, China’s economic growth rate during the Q1 slowed to 0.6% from a revised 2.6% in the previous quarter.

Due to the wave of new cases right before the Lunar New Year holiday, according to Lu.

Source: The Jakarta Post

China’s exports grew at a strong pace in March

China’s exports grew at a strong pace in March

China’s exports grew at a robust pace in March in yet another boost to the nation’s economic recovery as global demand picks up.

This amid progress in worldwide COVID-19 vaccination, while import growth surged to the highest in four years.

The data reinforces signs of gathering momentum for the world’s second largest economy as it emerges from the COVID-19-led slump in early 2020.

China’s exports in dollar terms soared 30.6 percent in March from a year earlier.

But at a slower pace from a record 154.9 percent growth in February.

The analysts have forecast a 35.5 percent jump in shipments.

Imports increased 38.1 percent year-on-year last month, the highest since February 2017, beating a 23.3 percent forecast and compared with 17.3 percent growth in February.

China posted a trade surplus of US$13.8 billion last month, versus analysts’ expectations for the surplus to rise to US$52.05 billion from US$37.88 billion in February.

Despite sporadic COVID-19 cases in China’s border cities, authorities have been able to largely contain the virus in a boost to factory activity.

As production has gradually picked up to pre-pandemic levels.

Beijing managed to largely bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control much earlier than many countries.

Thanks to stringent anti-virus curbs and lockdowns at the initial phase of the outbreak last year.

That has helped its economy mount a rapid turnaround after a slump at the start of 2020, led by resurgent China’s exports growth as factories raced to fill overseas orders.

Global demand for Chinese goods have remained strong as the world economic recovery has continued to gather pace helped in part by stepped up vaccination efforts.

China’s gross domestic product expanded 2.3 percent last year, the only major economy to post growth in 2020, underpinned by solid demand for goods such as medical equipment.

Source: CNA

China’s economy in a slow recovery

China’s economy in a slow recovery

China’s economy is continuing a steady recovery this year, vice premier Han Zheng said on Sunday.

Han made the remarks to the China Development Forum, a high-level business gathering hosted by the Development Research Centre of the State Council.

Han also said China, the world’s No.2 economy, will strengthen macro policy coordination with other countries.

China’s economy is widely expected to grow more than 8 % in 2021, led by an expected double-digit expansion in the first quarter.

Analysts say the pace is driven by a low base for comparison and the recovery remains uneven.

The economy expanded 2.3 % last year, the only major economy to report growth, although the growth was its weakest in 44 years.

Meanwhile, China had administered 74.96 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of Saturday (March 20), health commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a news briefing on Sunday.

That compared with about 65 million doses administered as of March 14, or an additional 10 million vaccinations in less in a week, as the country accelerates its inoculation drive with the aim to inoculate 40 % of its 1.4 billion population by the middle of the year.

Over 70 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s shot have been administered globally so far, a company spokesman said during the news conference on Sunday. He did not say how many of those had been administered in China.

Beijing is also considering implementing differentiated policies for visa issuance, flights and controls on the numbers of people arriving in China.

This based on vaccination progress and the Covid-19 situations in the countries of origin.

“We do not exempt vaccinated people from testing and isolation measures for the time being,” said Feng Zijian, vice director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control.

Source: Channel News Asia and The Star News

The factory activity of China expands in February

The factory activity of China expands in February

China’s factory activity expanded in February at a slower pace than a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since last May and missing market expectations after brief COVID-19-related disruptions earlier in the year.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 51.3 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Analysts had expected it to decline to 51.1.

China’s factory activity in the Lunar New Year

Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns. This year, the government appealed to workers to remain local to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Generally, China’s economic recovery has been gathering pace due to robust exports, pent-up demand, and government stimulus.

The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders was 48.8 in February compared with 50.2 in January, slipping back into contraction after months boosted by overseas demand.

A sub-index for activity among small firms stood at 48.3 in February versus 49.4 a month earlier. Smaller firms were more affected by the seasonal effects of the Lunar New Year, said Zhao Qinghe, an official with the NBS in comments released with the data.

A sub-index for employment in the official PMI stood at 48.1 in February, down from January’s 48.4 as firms laid off more workers and at a faster pace.

Still, some manufacturing sector firms are seeing increasing pressure from rising labor costs and a shortage of workers, said Zhao.

China’s factory activity gate prices rose on year in January for the first time in a year, as months of strong manufacturing growth pushed raw material costs higher.

China eked out 2.3% economic growth last year. This year, the government may avoid setting a growth target for fear of provincial economies feeling pressured to take on more debt, policy sources previously told Reuters.

China will reinforce policy support for foreign trade and ensure the smooth operation of supply chains, its new commerce minister said earlier this week.

In the services sector, activity expanded for the 11th consecutive month but at the slowest pace in a year.

Source: The Stars

China’s biggest nickel ore supplier is Indonesia

China’s biggest nickel ore supplier is Indonesia

Indonesia remained China’s second-biggest nickel ore supplier in 2020, Chinese customs data showed on Wednesday, despite the Southeast Asian country’s ban on exports of the material.

Arrivals from Indonesia into China totaled 3.4 million tons last year, the General Administration of Customs reported. That was down 85.8 percent from 2019 but still second only to the Philippines at 31.98 million tons, and ahead of New Caledonia in third.

Indonesian shipments were 1.98 million tons in January and February combined, likely the last cargoes to depart Indonesia before the ban came into force on Jan. 1, 2020, although some may have been delayed by coronavirus curbs.

The data then shows a trickle of Indonesian imports in every subsequent month of last year, including 78,245 tons for December.

Data from Indonesia, which enacted the ban to force more domestic ore processing, shows zero nickel ore exports to China from January to November.

Explanations about the nickel ore data

China’s customs administration and an Indonesian mining ministry official did not provide an explanation but some analysts believe the answer may lie in the material being exported as iron ore but imported into China as nickel ore.

These shipments typically consist of ore that has around 1 percent nickel content and over 50 percent iron, so are iron ore as far as the Indonesian government is concerned, CRU analyst Ellie Wang said.

Some stainless steel firms in China then declare it as nickel ore at customs, she adds. “They can mix the ore with some other grade, then produce low-grade nickel pig iron,” which is used to make stainless steel, Wang said.

BMO analyst Colin Hamilton concurred such an arrangement is “certainly a potential workaround” given high iron ore prices.

“We always used to add some reported nickel ore to full-year iron ore import numbers – particularly from the Philippines but it’s entirely possible from Indonesia as well,” he added.

In 2020, China’s imports of nickel pig iron from Indonesia, which can still be exported, rose 100.9 percent year-on-year to 2.73 million tons.

Source: The Jakarta Post

China to increase imports of Indonesian products

China to increase imports of Indonesian products

China would import more Indonesian products and increase investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, a top Chinese diplomat said, as Jakarta urged Beijing to remove barriers to make trade between the two countries more balanced.

“We look forward to expanding imports from Indonesia and the Chinese investments in Indonesia so that we could bring about a healthier and balanced growth of trade between our two countries,” visiting State Councilor Wang Yi said in a joint statement with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

China and Indonesia relations

China is Indonesia’s biggest trade partner and an important source of investment, but the large trade deficit with China has often been a source of concern in Indonesia.

The deficit shrunk considerably between January to November 2020, falling to US$7 billion from US$15.4 billion in the same period in 2019, as Indonesia’s demand for imported products plunged amid a coronavirus epidemic and its first recession in 22 years.

Indonesian minister Retno urged China to remove trade barriers for the country’s top products, such as palm oil, fisheries, fruits, and bird’s nest, as a way to address the trade imbalance.

“Efforts should be made to pursue an improving and more balanced trade,” she said.

Ms. Retno said Indonesia also agreed to a Chinese study over the Lambakan dam project in East Kalimantan. The dam is one of Indonesia’s main projects to control floods and is worth around US$400 million, according to local media reports.

Mr. Wang did not mention the dam but said China and Indonesia should have synergy with their respective infrastructure programs – the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Maritime Fulcrum program.

Mr. Wang also said he supported Indonesia’s plan to become a regional hub for the production of vaccines.

Indonesia on Wednesday began a campaign of mass Covid-19 immunization with a vaccine supplied by China’s Sinovac.

Source: The Business Times

China’s economic recovery not yet fulfill

China’s economic recovery not yet fulfill

China said its economy had yet to fully bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and pledged financial support for recovery efforts at the end of a key annual policy meeting on Friday.

The country suffered its first contraction in decades this year in the wake of a public health crisis that prompted drastic lockdowns in Wuhan and sent factory activity into a nosedive.

Its economy has faced a small recovery after authorities managed to largely contain the infection, and China is likely to be the only major world power to record positive growth this year.

But officials at this week’s Central Economic Work Conference presided over by President Xi Jinping, said the recovery would be “unstable and uneven” and signaled a fiscal policy focused on maintaining economic stability.

“We must be clearly aware that there are many uncertainties in the evolution of the pandemic and external environment, and the foundation for our country’s economic recovery is not yet solid,” said a statement from the three-day summit published by state broadcaster CCTV.

Beijing seeks recovery in technology

Beijing will boost financial support to technological innovation, small business, and green projects into the new year in efforts to keep the economy on an even keel, the meeting said.

Officials also said they would prevent “the disorderly expansion of capital,” strengthening a new anti-monopoly push.

It follows Beijing’s recent signs of displeasure with the growing power of the country’s tech giants, with draft antitrust rules last month suggesting more regulation for the sector is on the horizon.

China has moved to clip the wings of its fast-growing online platforms, earlier halting the planned record-smashing US$34 billion IPO of Ant Group, the financial arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

What do you think about these efforts to keep the recovery of the economic sector?

Source: Channel News Asia

China’s industrial output grew in November

China’s industrial output grew in November

China’s industrial output grew in line with expectations in November, expanding for the eighth straight month as the economic recovery gathered pace and global demand picked up.

Industrial output growth quickened to 7.0 percent in November from a year earlier, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Tuesday. That was in line with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll and faster than the 6.9 percent expansion in October.

China’s economy has staged an impressive recovery from its COVID-19 paralysis earlier this year, mainly driven by robust exports.

An annual sales promotion extravaganza in November by China’s e-commerce giants has also open consumers’ wallets in a further boost to orders for small factories.

China’s industrial output breakdown

Retail sales rose 5 percent on-year, just missing analysts’ forecast for 5.2 percent growth but faster than the 4.3 percent increase in October.

Auto sales saw 11.8 percent growth and sales of household appliances grew 5.1 percent in November. Communications equipment sales jumped by 43.6 percent.

Fixed-asset investment rose 2.6 percent in January-November from the same period last year, in line with a forecast 2.6 percent growth and faster than a 1.8 percent increase in the first 10 months of 2020.

Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for 60 percent of total investment, rose 0.2 percent in January-November, compared with a 0.7 percent decline in the first 10 months of the year.

China’s economic recovery looks to be accelerating in the fourth quarter, driven by stronger demand, credit growth, and stimulus measures expected to provide a strong tailwind into 2021.

Factory activity growth hit a more than three-year high in November, an official survey showed, as fewer COVID-19 infections boosted consumer confidence.

Exports also surged at their fastest pace in almost three years thanks to hot demand for personal protective equipment and electronics products for working from home.

However, tougher measures to contain the coronavirus imposed by the country’s trading partners have created shipping bottlenecks, pushing up transportation costs and capping the speed of China’s recovery.

Source: The Jakarta Post