SHANGHAI, Apr 3 (SMM) – The final purchasing managers' index (PMI) for downstream nickel industries in March inched up from February and stood at 52.5, SMM data showed. The figure fell below expectations.
As operation across industries recovered after Chinese New Year, the overall production index in March came in at 57.4.
New orders increased across various sectors, especially for electroplating, and drove up the index for new orders to 54.2. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector while a reading below 50 signals contraction. The index for finished products inventory declined from February to 51.3 in March.
The preliminary PMI in April rose 0.38 from March and stood at 52.9, as new orders and production are set to stabilise with upward room.
Fewer new orders and smaller inventories of raw materials depressed the final PMI for the stainless steel industry. The figure stood at 49.4 in March, lower than expected. Inventories of finished products grew as new orders were slow and output expanded after steel plants completed maintenance.
Preliminary PMI for the stainless steel industry in April rose to 52.3, as new orders and production are expected to grow after pressure eases from environmental concerns and financing.
The PMI for electroplating industry stood at 63.6 for March, up from February but lower than the expected 67.9. High rates of operation among electroplating plants drove the production index to 79. The quick recovery of consumption drove up the index for new orders to 78. April's preliminary PMI for the industry came in at 52 as downstream operations will return to normal while production and new orders will stabilise.
In the alloy industry, March PMI grew 36.1 month on month and stood at 65.9, as operation resumed after the heating season ended on March 15. The production index jumped to 88.7 for March, while the preliminary PMI in April stood at 50.6, down from February.
The PMI for the battery industry in March rose 35.4 from February and stood at 71.4. Both the indexes for new orders and production stood high at 88.2. Supply at some battery plants failed to meet demand as nickel-hydrogen battery manufacturers resumed production in March.
For other industries, PMI stood at 71.9 in March, much higher the 25 recorded in February, and also better than the expected 70.4. Indexes for new orders, production, raw materials inventory, and supplier delivery all stand at high levels with downstream buyers eager to stock. April's PMI for other industries is expected at 66.
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