Posted: November 14th, 2013 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: China, Labor | Tags: china, china labor cost, china labor shortage, china productivity, china robot | No Comments »
From 2005 to 2012, average labor costs in Zhejiang, a hub for private manufacturing enterprises, almost tripled from 14,847 yuan to 41,370 yuan ($6,800) a year, an annual increase of nearly 16 percent.
Zhejiang province is to invest 500 billion yuan ($82 billion) over the next five years to encourage manufacturers to adopt more robots to overcome the short supply and high cost of labor.
The program is underway and will help at least 5,000 companies a year, a source with the investment division of the Zhejiang Economic and Information Commission told China Daily, without giving details.
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Posted: November 14th, 2013 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: China, Copper, Europe, USA | Tags: china, Copper, copper china, copper europe, copper future, copper price, copper usa | No Comments »
Copper fell 2.3% on Wednesdays to $3.1595 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price since July 31. So far this year, the price declined 12 percent.
Copper futures fell to a three-month low as investors bet that the economic policies laid out by China‘s leadership wouldn’t do enough to boost growth in the world’s top metals consumer.
Copper has been sliding since Tuesday after China’s Third Plenum — a four-day meeting that sets government economic policy for the world’s second – largest economy—released a broad blueprint calling for markets to play a more “decisive” role in economic matters.
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Posted: July 16th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Economic Indicators | Tags: china, chromium, coal, commodities, commodities china, commodities price, electricity, gas, iron ore, nickel, steel | No Comments »
China announced Monday that its gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.5% in the three months ended in June. Its economic growth is still strong, compared with much of the world. But recent single-digit expansion rates are a notable comedown from a 14.2% peak in 2007.
Unlike so often in the past, though, the Chinese leadership shows little inclination to act. Indeed, the mood in Beijing is studiedly sanguine. Not only did the national statistics bureau describe yesterday’s figures as “within the reasonable range for the year”. Finance Minister Lou Jiwei even hinted, last week, that growth could drop well below 7 per cent over the coming months (although his remarks were later airbrushed into line with the official 7.5 per cent target by the state news agency).
The biggest losers from China’s rebalancing are likely to be the major commodity-producing emerging markets, most of which lie in Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Africa, but China’s slowdown will impact on different commodity groups in different ways.
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Posted: June 30th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities | Tags: china, commodities, commodities china | No Comments »
The Chinese credit squeeze had been building since late May – worsening in mid-June – as a result of a number of factors, among them a drop in foreign currency inflows, regulatory requirements at the end of the second quarter and a mismatch between banks’ long-term lending and short-term funding.
China‘s short-term interbank rates rocketed to unusually high levels during the past two weeks, but the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) took a tough line with the banks faced with the cash crunch until Tuesday, when it boosted liquidity support for some cautious financial institutions.
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Posted: June 20th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Currencies, Economic Indicators, Precious metals, US Dollar | Tags: china, commodities, commodities china, commodities price, commodity 2013, commodity outlook | No Comments »
Gold is down by more than 5% this morning, barely holding onto $1,300 after having dipped below that level for the first time since September 2010. Silver has slumped by 7.2% to just over $20.
The price of crude oil has slumped 1.6% to under $97 per barrel this morning, while copper is down 1.9% and most agricultural commodities are lower. Even natural gas is taking a hit: its price is down by 1.7% to $3.90 this morning.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials lost as much as 2 percent to 622.91, the biggest intraday loss since May 10, before reaching 625.31 as of 1:41 p.m. in London.
“There is panic selling all over the commodities sector after the Fed’s comments and the data from China,” said Daniel Briesemann, analyst at Commerzbank.
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Posted: May 10th, 2013 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: China, Steel | Tags: china, china steel, china steel price, steel price | No Comments »
Baosteel, the nation’s largest listed steelmaker has cut the prices of its main steel products by about three percent for the first time in the nine months, Shanghai Securities News reported.
According to the factory policy for June bookings issued by Baosteel on Thursday, hot rolled steel plate is down 180 yuan ($29) per ton, while the price of cold rolled steel plate is down 150 yuan per ton, and the prices of most mid-thick products have been decreased by 200 yuan per ton. The price of mid-thick boat deck, however, stays the same.
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Posted: March 31st, 2013 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: China, Labor | Tags: china, china labor cost, labor, labor cost | No Comments »
U.S. companies operating in China cited rising labor costs as the biggest risk to their business in the country for the first time, the 2013 China Business Climate Survey Report by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, AmCham China, showed.
Among 325 businesses surveyed, 47 percent said rising labor costs were their biggest risk, just above the number that said slowing economic growth in China was the major concern, the 2013 China Business Climate Survey Report said. More than a quarter of respondents said they had been the victim of data theft.
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Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Iron ore | Tags: china, iron ore, iron ore china, iron ore price, iron ore stock, steel, steel china, steel price | No Comments »
At $80 in September 2012, the iron ore price was at its lowest for the past 3 years. In 3 months, it surged to a current price around $150 a tonne, a 80% increase! But will it last? As it is often the case, China is the reason for the soaring price of the metal required to produce steel.
Chinese steelmakers absorb 60% of the global iron ore and are doing all they can to put their hands on any available cargo. It is true that at this time of year, China needs to import more since Chinese iron refining factories are typically idling in winter. China also imports more at the beginning of the year in order not suffer from supply disruptions in case the iron ore mines in Australia and Brazil get flooded as it is the beginning of the rainy season in these two countries. However, the current rush exceeds the usual seasonal increase.
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Posted: December 28th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Metals, Steel | Tags: china, china steel, special steel, steel, steel glut, steel production | No Comments »
Worldwide steel mills have reached a total estimated supply capacity of 1.8 billion tons, vs. a steel global demand of only 1.5 billion tons. Like Europe, China produces too much steel and it must restructure its industry.
Over the last 10 years, when steel production increased by 20% in Europe, it went up by 534% in China which now produces nearly half the world’s steel vs. 18% in 2001. The growth of the Chinese steel industry corresponds to the rapid development of the construction and infrastructure industry. Since 2008, the sector has also been heavily subsidized by the Chinese public banks.
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Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Copper | Tags: china, copper future, copper price | No Comments »
Copper prices shot to their highest settlement in seven weeks as a batch of better-than-expected economic data from China had traders betting the world’s top industrial-metal consumer was turning the corner.
The news was enough to push up copper and other base metals in thin trade. Copper for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose 4.30 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $3.7060 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. This was the highest settlement since $3.7500 a pound set Oct. 18.
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