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Industry updates from China

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World Cement,

Cement prices

The average sales price of cement in China increased for the first time since the beginning of the year in the first week of April. Cement prices rose by 0.5% w/w, compared to the 0.2% rise recorded in the week before. Prices increased by 1.4% in eastern China and 0.7% in the southwest, but remained flat in other regions.

Economy and heavy industry

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast China's economic growth to be around 7.5% in 2014 and 7.3% in 2015, a decrease from 7.7% in 2013. According to Olivier Blanchard, Chief Economist at IMF, the relative slowdown is due to China's efforts to pursue more balanced growth and reduce overcapacity in heavy industries.

Heavy industries such as steel and cement are experiencing an obvious slowdown during this period of structural adjustment and optimisation of industry. However, the country’s economy is still on a higher level compared with other economies.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers' index for March 2014 (compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing) inched up to 50.3, compared to 50.2 recorded in February 2014. The reading represents the first rise since November and is a positive indicator for the overall economy. Figures above 50 are viewed by analysts as expansionary, which are considered positive over the medium or long-term.

Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling

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