China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
China plans to build a “first-class international city” called “Xiong’an New Area” from scratch which will cover 2,000 square kilometers, making it almost 300% larger than New York City or Singapore; President Xi intends this new city to have “a beautiful environment” with high-tech industries and efficient transportation system. The first phase (time will be determined) will cover 100 square kilometers[i].
- Wood inventory in Taicang (along with Wanfang and Meijing) port increased dramatically (67%) from 736,000 m3 (January 2017) to 1,230,000 m3 (February 2017) (see the last chart below). Volume in March dropped slightly but is still 1,153,000 m3 which shows an unexpected trend that is very different compared to the previous year[ii]. Canada Wood will follow-up to uncover the reason behind the trend.
- GDP growth and PMI in 2017Q1 were 6.9% and 51.8% respectively which are better than forecast of most economists.
Caixin PMI decreased from 51.7% in February to 51.2% in March which is the second highest figure during the past 6 months (highest is 51.9% in December 2016)[iii]. After experiencing a dramatic downward turn from USD 182.8 billion in January 2017 to USD 120.1 billion in February, exports value was back to USB 180.6 billion in March 2017 which is higher than the average value during the past 6 months (USD 177.4 billion)[iv].
China Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased from 100.8(February) to 100.9 (March) Index Points which marks the second lowest rate since October 2016 (lowest rate is 100.8 in February 2017 during the past 6 months)[v]. USD/CNY dropped from 6.88 (February 1st) to 6.87 (February 28th) and then increased slightly from 6.88 (March 1st) to 6.89 (March 31st)[vi]; CAD/CNY fluctuated from 5.27 (February 1st) to 5.16 (February 28th) to 5.16(March 1st) to 5.18(March 31st)[vii].
Building material prices
The price for cement in China increased 2.69% from RMB 291.50 per metric ton on March 1st to RMB 299.33 per metric ton on March 31st [viii]; rebar steel was worth RMB 3,688.00 per metric ton on March 1st and then declined 15.50% to RMB 3,584.38 per metric ton on March 31st [ix].
Wood Export to China[x]
[i] Economist (April 6th, 2017). A plan to build a city from scratch that will dwarf New York
[ii] China Bulletin (April, 2017).
[x] BOABC (March 2017). China Wood and Its Products Market Monthly Report