China’s Factory-Gate Prices Rise at Record Pace

HONG KONG—Price pressures on Chinese language factories continued to build up final month as vitality costs soared, dimming hope that global inflation would ease within the close to time period.

China’s producer-price index, a gauge of factory-gate costs, rose by 10.7% in September from a 12 months in the past, accelerating from a 9.5% enhance in August, and grew on the quickest tempo in 25 years, based on the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics.

The studying beat the ten.4% forecast made amongst economists polled by the Journal and surpassed the earlier excessive of 10.1% in August 2008. It’s the highest stage since 1996, when Chinese language officers started releasing the information.

The file enhance was due primarily to rising costs of coal and a few energy-intensive merchandise reminiscent of nonferrous metals, metal and chemical compounds, mentioned Dong Lijuan, a spokeswoman for the statistics bureau, on Thursday.

Stubbornly excessive factory-gate costs in China exceeded many economists’ expectations, elevating worry of stagflation, when costs hold rising during times of slower progress. China’s financial momentum eased in latest months amid slower credit score progress and tightened rules. Greater costs of products produced in China, coupled with mass delays in world transport, could add to inflationary strain within the U.S. and different Western nations, that are additionally grappling with soaring oil and natural gas prices.

“We expect the chance of stagflation is rising in China in addition to the remainder of the world,” mentioned Zhiwei Zhang, an economist at Pinpoint Asset Administration in Shanghai. He added that Beijing’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality has put “persistent strain on commodity costs”.

Beijing’s aggressive energy-efficiency marketing campaign has led to the closure of many high-polluting coal mines, whereas a drop in imported coal from nations together with Australia, Mongolia and Indonesia exacerbated the scarcity. This week, flooding hit northern Shanxi province, the place about one-third of coal in China is produced, worsening the availability shortfall.

Whereas Chinese language authorities in latest weeks reopened some coal mines and raised electricity tariffs to encourage coal-fired energy crops to repair the facility crunch, economists say that it’ll take time for these measures to take impact and so coal costs are more likely to keep elevated within the subsequent month or two.

Coal being unloaded Jiangsu province. A drop in imported coal has exacerbated the scarcity.


Qilai Shen/Bloomberg Information

Essentially the most actively traded thermal coal futures on the Zhengzhou Commodity Alternate jumped by 60% in September and saved climbing via October so far. It touched a file of the equal of $255 a ton on Wednesday.

Greater industrial inflation hit China’s manufacturing business simply as Beijing’s more and more heavy-handed rules in sectors together with actual property and the web threat choking off progress. China’s new credit score loans in September fell wanting expectations.

That additionally means Chinese language producers, already hammered by increased prices of different supplies and power rationing, are more likely to both in the reduction of on output or go on extra prices to western customers, whose urge for food for items reminiscent of toys and digital devices has stayed robust forward of the Christmas procuring season. Final month, the nation’s exports rose by 28% in U.S. greenback phrases from a 12 months in the past, largely pushed by increased costs fairly than quantity, economists say.

“China may additionally export inflation because the disruptions ripple via world provide chains,” economists from


wrote in a analysis notice to shoppers final Friday.

In the meantime, China’s client inflation rose by 0.7% in September, down from 0.8% the earlier month, pointing to sluggish home demand.

Costs of pork, a staple meat in China, plunged by 47% final month from a 12 months in the past, whereas nonfood costs reminiscent of gasoline accelerated worth will increase.

Some economists predict that increased electrical energy prices assumed by factories and companies will additional enhance industrial inflation and finally elevate client inflation.

China allowed electrical energy costs for industrial customers to rise by as a lot as 20%, in contrast with the earlier 10% cap, seemingly boosting the headline producer-price index to 12% in October or November and including 0.5 share level to client inflation, based on estimates by Zhaopeng Xing, a strategist from ANZ.

Persistent value strain additionally makes it tougher for China’s central financial institution to handle inflation.

“Given rising uncertainty in regards to the world inflation outlook, Chinese language coverage makers face rising constraints in additional easing,” mentioned

Bruce Pang,

head of macro and technique analysis at China Renaissance Securities.

Write to Stella Yifan Xie at [email protected]

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