SHANGHAI, Oct 8 (SMM) – Activity across major copper downstream industries in China expanded in September after contracting for three consecutive months, as improved weather conditions allowed production and consumption to swing back to high gear.
An SMM survey released on September 29 showed that the purchasing managers' index (PMI) across construction, power, electronics, transportation and home appliance sectors in China rose to 51.11 in September from 46.38 in August.
This was the first time for the index to stand above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction in four months.
The activity growth last month, however, was moderate, as copper consumers reported mild improvement in orders in a traditional high consumption season. Continued weakness in auto and home appliance sectors and production restrictions on environmental concerns also capped the growth.
The capital city Beijing and its surrounding regions imposed curbs on industrial production and transport last month, in order to minimise potential disruptions before China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1.
The sub-index for production across copper downstream sectors climbed from 47.41 a month ago to 51.89, with power, construction and electronics leading the gains.
Electronics brands preferred to launch their new products in September, with the PMI for the sector gaining 5.54 to 52.13, the highest across the five major copper downstream industries.
Recovering end-market consumption and eased cash-flow pressure led to an expansion in new orders last month, with the sub-index jumping 7.5 to 52.53. New export orders, however, continued to shrank last month, albeit at a slower pace.