Slowdown in China economic growth to 7.7%

China's economy grew at a lower than expected pace in the Q1 the first big test of Premier Mr Li Keqiang's determination to tackle long-term issues ranging from urbanization to reform of the financial system.Beijing appeared to play down the need for drastic monetary easing as the new leadership vowed to improve the quality of growth through reforms. Several prominent investment houses cut forecasts for growth this year, reflecting a rising consensus about greater official tolerance of a slowdown.
Gross domestic product growth eased to 7.7% compared with 7.9% in the previous quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said that. The result trailed market consensus for 8% growth. Industrial output rose 9.5%, slower than the 11.6% gain a year earlier, while retail sales growth moderated to 12.4% from 14.8%. Growth in fixed asset investment was unchanged at 20.9%, but property investment growth eased to 20.2% YoY compared to 23.5% growth a year earlier. Electricity output, a gauge often watched for industrial demand, climbed only 2.9%.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.13% to close at 2,181.94 as commodities stocks tumbled.
The bureau's spokesman Mr Sheng Laiyun, said that the slowdown was due to the complex and fast-changing global situation and domestic policy adjustments and controls.Despite the slowdown, Mr Sheng said that the job market had been stable while inflation had moderated from a year earlier. He also noted that the growth was above the official growth target of 7.5% for this year.On Sunday April 14th a day before the release of the data, Mr Li said at a meeting with experts and industrial leaders that "China's economy has seen a generally steady start which would help stabilize overall expectations".He stressed that reforms would be the utmost cure for the imbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable problems in the economy.
Mr Li said that “More effort must be put into restructuring and upgrading the economic structure as well as adding jobs and raising people's income. Even though sometimes there might be a need to roll out temporary steps, we should be careful that those steps should not become hurdles against future market-based reforms and development.”SocieteGenerale China economist Ms Yao Wei said that recent official remarks suggested the central government doesn't seem particularly worried about the deceleration.She added that "In our view, the new leadership is making a conscious decision to focus on managing systemic risks even though it is at the cost of slower short term growth."Analysts said that “Recent aggressive credit expansion may underpin a rebound in growth in the next 1 or 2 quarters. But they added that the impact would be restrained by overcapacity problems.”

  China steel PMI index declined to 44.6% in March

According to China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, domestic steel PMI index lost 14.3% to 44.6% in March 2013. Particularly, the steel industry production, new orders, new exports orders, finished products inventory index hit 45.7%, 41.3%, 42.4%, 58.9%, down 16%, 25.9%, 47.9% and up 4.9% month on month respectively.

  POSCO completes car steel plate plant in China

POSCO, the nation's top steelmaker said that it has completed an auto steel plate production plant in China as part of an effort to meet growing demand for
the product from global carmakers. The high end steel sheet plant in the city of Foshan, Guangdong province, will produce 450,000 tonnes of galvanized steel sheets annually. Guangdong province is a large economic area with a population of more than 100 million. Major automakers such as GM, Toyota and Honda make up roughly 25% of China's automobile production.
The galvanized steel sheets produced in the plant will be supplied to POSCO's 11 steel-processing centers across China, and directly to global automakers in China such as Toyota and Hyundai Motor. POSCO expects China's annual auto output to top 38 million units in 2020.

  Disappointing GDP growth mellows down the steel market in China

Drop in GDP in Q1 at 7.7% dampened spirits in market after the recent holiday. Although bulk of Q1 was washed out but during the last couple of weeks rot had stemmed with price remaining relatively stable. Approaching summer and the ensuing pick up in construction activity gave fillip to market sentiments recently but it could not only achieve status quo. Double blow of drop in GDP and below par industrial output smothered enthusiasm. Mills are cutting ex-w prices, seeing the snail-paced destocking and dim demand. End users are keeping low stocks, fearing of further price retreat. Government's has been sticking to conservative policies to regulate market products and quality in construction steel will certainly clip the speculative flare.
However the pattern remained stable with over a week indicating some stability. Bottoming out still played hide and seek with minor fluctuations in the price. Reportedly some major mills rolled over price from April to May on anticipated pick-up in demand in Q2. Construction activity increases during this period and with slew of infrastructure projects lined up demand growth looks inevitable. At the same time it would be perilous to ignore the present realities. More so with the traders pressuring mills into giving discounts to cater over the financial limitations in tight market some elbow room is unavoidable.
Currently, downstream demand is turning better; yet, the spot market has been trending down since Feb, witnessing the prices drop far away from the EXW prices. Hence if mills fail to cut prices again or increase discounts, order books will be affected shortly.
It is learnt that major mills are giving preferential pricing linked to volume off take to dilute the impact.

  China to eliminate 14.05 million tonnes of backward coke capacity in 2013

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently released on its website the 2013 annual target for backward elimination in China's 19 industries. According to media reports, China is set to wash out 14.05 million tonnes of outdated coke capacity this year, compared to 20.7 million tonnes in 2012, according to the MIIT.

  Mr Ken C Lai to lead China operations of LanzaTech

LanzaTech a producer of low carbon fuels and chemicals from waste gases, announced the appointment of Ken C Lai as vice president of its Asia Pacific operations.
Based in Shanghai, he will oversee the development and commercialization of the company's gas to advanced biofuels facilities as well as continued development of LanzaTech's value chain partners in the region.
Lai joins LanzaTech from Shell Global Solutions International B.V., where he was General Manager of Licensing and Sales for the Asia Pacific region. Including his 5+ years at Shell, Global Solutions, he has more than 30 years of experience in technology licensing, sales, account management and business development in the petroleum refining and petrochemicals industry.
Mr Lai said that “LanzaTech is well on its way to fulfilling its potential to make a material impact on our energy future through the innovative use of waste gas resources. With success at both Baosteel and Shougang Steel facilities in China, as well as partnerships with Global Fortune 500 companies for fuels and chemicals, LanzaTech is proving the versatility of its technology. I am excited to be part of the LanzaTech team and look forward to accelerating our growth in China and elsewhere in Asia.”

  Hebei steel sold 40% of CR Auto Sheet to JCDecaux

It is reported that Hebei Steel Handan Steel produced 73,000 tonnes of CR auto sheet steel and 28,000 tonnes of them are sold to JCDecaux, the largest steel traders in the world. The grades of this batch of products include HX220YD+Z、DX56D+Z、HX180YD+Z and HX340LAD+Z, with thickness of 1.0mm-1.8mm.