| 16 June 2021, Wednesday | النسخة العربية

China’s industrial profits growth slows in April amid high commodity prices

China’s industrial firms profits grew at a slower pace in April, with high commodity prices and weaker performance in the consumer goods sector limiting overall profitability from manufacturing.

Profits at China’s industrial firms rose 57 percent year-on-year in April to $120.22 billion, down from 92.3 percnet in March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Thursday.

For the January-April period, industrial firms’ profits grew 106 percent from the same period a year earlier to 2.59 trillion yuan, bolstered by a virus-related plunge in activity early last year.

“The improvement of corporate performance is still uneven,” said NBS official Zhu Hong in a statement accompanying the data.

“The profitability of some consumer goods industries has not yet recovered to pre-epidemic levels; coupled with the high prices of bulk commodities, this has increased the pressure on the production and operation of midstream and downstream industries.”

Chemical products and metals processing firms recorded some of the highest year-on-year profit increases over the first four months, according to NBS data, recovering from the COVID-19-induced slump in economic activity in the same period last year.

Profits surged 484% over January-April in the non-ferrous metals smelting and pressing industry. Synthetic fibre manufacturing posted a 650.2% profit increase.

Fast profit growth for metals processing has been spurred by higher metal prices, said Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING.

“But this good time may not last as the government is clamping down on high commodity prices,” she said.

China’s government watchdogs warned industrial metals companies to maintain “normal market order” during talks on significant gains in metals prices this year, China’s top economic planner said on Monday.

Weaker garment and textile manufacturing profits reflect a still gradual global economic recovery amid uncertainties about COVID-19 cases in Asia, said Pang.

China’s economy posted record growth in the first quarter as it emerged from the pandemic although analysts expect the brisk expansion to moderate later this year.