SHANGHAI, Mar. 1 (SMM) –
The US manufacturing sector and employment continued to improve according to data released overnight, with Chicago PMI up to 56.8 and initial jobless claims down. China’s official manufacturing PMI dropped in February.
The US 4Q GDP was revised slightly upward from -0.1% to 0.1%, but weak data indicated the government spending cuts are impeding economic recovery.
The Chicago PMI in February rose to 56.9 from January’s 55.6. The indicator used to hit a low of 50.0 last December.
The outlook for US manufacturing sector will be optimistic if this indicator remain strong after the automatic spending cuts. However, the current figure was still well below the 70.6 recorded in March 2011.
The US initial jobless claims for the week ended February 23 were 344,000, better than market expectation, and signifying the recovery in employment.
China’s February manufacturing PMI released by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchases was 50.1%, falling 0.3 percentage point MoM.
Largest Rare Earth Refinery Starts Production
Lynas announced February 27 that its rare earth refinery in Kuantan of Pahang started production.
The refinery, covering 20 hectares and costing USD 800 million is the largest rare earth refinery in the world. The refinery is able to produce 22,000 mt of rare earth a year, meeting one third of global rare earth demand.
Dafeng Harbor Holdings’ Ferronickel Project in Indonesia to Be Built
Dafeng Harbor has obtained approval from Kendari government for its proposal concerning site selecting of its 275 hectare ferronickel and power project in Indonesia, indicating the project is expected to be built.
Dafeng Harbor Holdings entered into agreements for a 360 MW self-owned power plant and a 300,000 mt/yr ferronickel project with Hebei Electric Power Design & Research Institute and New Metallurgy Hi-Tech Group in September 2012.