SHANGHAI, Apr 30 (SMM) – Activity across major steel downstream industries in China continued to expand in April, driven by the construction sector as improved weather conditions allowed workers step up operations.
The SMM purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s construction, machinery, automobile, shipbuilding, home appliance and transportation sectors, major consumers of steel, slipped 2.85 from March to 58.96 in April. It remained above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction, for a second straight month. April’s reading inched up 0.68 year on year.
After seasonal adjustment, the composite PMI came in at 53.92, up 4.72 from a month ago but down 0.06 from a year ago.
With greater operations across construction, machinery, shipbuilding and transport infrastructure, the sub-index for production gained 1.87 from March to stand at 66.91 this month.
The New order sub-index gained on the month and came in at 65.15, with orders growing across all the six sectors, except for home appliances.
The construction sector entered a high season in April, and greater orders drove most construction sites to step up operations. Stable production and eased financing regulation for the housing market kept most building firms optimistic about demand in May.
The PMI for construction stood at 63.38 in April, up 1.16 on the month and 2.3 on the year. After seasonal adjustments, the reading came in at 53.82, up 5.81 on the month and 1.16 on the year.