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Weakness persists into August

The evidence suggests that much of the weakness seen in July continued throughout August. Though there are some signs of life in the real estate sector, we continue to believe that, without substantial government action, a significant uptick in growth remains unlikely.

11 September 2014

Coal consumption and steel production fall sharply in August

Coal consumption at independent power plants and steel output at China’s largest mills fell sharply in the second half of August, suggesting weakness in the industrial sector.

08 September 2014

Industrial activity shows short-term strength

Ahead of the publication of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data for the first two months of the year on March 13, third-party data for the period monitored by China Confidential points to strong industrial activity, suggesting that official industrial production data in January and February may surprise to the upside. Falling home sales and weaker credit growth, however, highlight the fact that any recovery is likely to be short-lived.

11 March 2014

Ramping up the fight against pollution

Our survey of power plants, steel mills and pollution treatment companies shows that Beijing’s smog-busting agenda is for real.

12 December 2013

Power consumption slows sharply in March

Analysts have been debating the reasons behind the sharp slowdown in power consumption in March

18 April 2013

China accelerates new power grid project approvals

There has been a flurry of announced expansions to China’s power grid network this month. This is positive news for the copper industry but could be less good for China’s coal miners, as an expanded grid network has the potential to depress coal prices in the long term.

18 December 2012

Coal-price reform builds momentum

Political support appears to be growing for the full liberalisation of coal prices, especially as they remain depressed, enabling the government to liberalise coal prices in the near-term while gradually moving towards electricity price reform in the future.

29 November 2012

Stabilisation – part II

With a flurry of statistics to be announced on October 18 – the day that this report is published – our data is pointing to (CC Oct 4, Macro View) some degree of stablisation in economic activity in September. However, the data, and other evidence, still falls short of signalling a clear rebound in GDP growth following what we expect will be a further slowdown to around 7.4% YoY or 7.5% YoY GDP growth in Q3, down from 7.6% YoY in Q2 and 8.1% YoY in Q1. 

18 October 2012

China steel output cuts deepen, bank loans bounce

National output of crude steel in August, published today by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), slid to 58.7m tonnes, down 5% from July. This confirms our expectations (CC Sept 6 Capital Intensive China) that production cuts have been deeper than estimated by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), which put the fall in output at 3% MoM in August. We think September may be another weak month for steel output in spite of signs of rising construction because the steel inventory overhang remains huge.

11 September 2012


A slowdown in power-grid investment is hurting suppliers and hampering capacity expansion plans.

06 September 2012

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