SHANGHAI, Jan 2 (SMM) – Activity across Chinese copper downstream industries continued to expand in December, propelled by recovery in electronics, home appliances and automobiles. The activity growth, however, was slower than November, as construction and power, the top two sectors, contracted in adverse weather.
Last month, new orders growth stagnated due to colder weather and year-end cash flow woes, while new export orders picked up amid signs of progress in trade talks with the US.
The latest SMM survey showed that the purchasing managers' index (PMI) across construction, power, electronics, transport and home appliance sectors in China edged down to 50.44 in December, standing above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction for a fourth straight month. The composite PMI came in at 50.84 in November.
Overall production across copper downstream sectors quickened last month, with the sub-index rising to 51.55, as manufacturers of household appliances, electronic products and cars restocked and consumption improved in the holiday shopping season.
Smog-control measures affected production last month, while freezing weather in northern regions and rainfalls in the south disrupted outdoor operations.
Copper downstream sectors saw their raw material purchasing prices jump in December, as copper prices rallied significantly with optimism over trade talks between Washington and Beijing and economic stimulus measures introduced by Beijing brightening the outlook for copper demand.