China economy 'not overheating'

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, China

Although the Chinese economy is showing definite signs of slowing,
experts have said that it is not about to overheat. Investment,
particularly in the food and beverage sector, is continuing apace,
but this being coutnerbalanced by a steadier rise in consumer
prices.

The news comes following the government figures revealing GDP had dropped back from 9.8 per cent in the first three month for the first quarter to 9.6 per for the last 12 months.

Economist have said that the slight drop in GDP growth shows that the government limits on borrowing and other measures to limit investment are now starting to work. Chinese banks have been ordered to hold back on borrowing in an effort to build up their reserves.

However, despite the moves, the country still managed to draw in $8.3 billion worth of direct foreign investment in the last month alone. A significant proportion of that money has gone into the joint venture projects in both the food manufacturing and retail sector. In particular the beer sector has been particularly active, with Carlsberg, Anheuser-Busch and Scottish & Newcastle all announcing major ventures in that period.

The chief economist at China's National Statistics Bureau said that certain sectors had been showing signs of slight overheating, particularly with regards investment, but that on the whole consumption remains 'cold', which is helping to keep things in treck. The Bureau Chief also said that with consumer prices rising by just 3.6 per cent for the first six months of the year, this was providing further stability.

China soybean trade revives

Shipping companies are expecting to be kept busy in the coming months as the strengthening supply of soybean drives freight towards the China market where demand has been picking up.

Lloyd's List reports that with the US, Brazil and Argentina all expecting increased exports, it appears that the growing of the Chinese market will finally be met by adequate supplies.

Last month supplies of Brazilian soybean were temporarily stopped after officials found a consignment that contained fungicide. Howevever, quick action by the Brazilian government and soybean traders have now led to a resurgence of supplies that meet requirements.

The soybean trade with China is an integral part of overall exports for both Brazil and neigbouring Argentina. Both countries are battling to ensure that trade in soybeans remains brisk with China, as the business now has a significant impact on the countries' economies.

For Brazil alone the USDA is estimating that soybean exports to China for 2004-05 will be 23.4 million tonnes, a rise of 13 per cent on 2003 - a figure that may be impacted by the recent ban.

China EU orange export drops 80 per cent

China has reported that the export of canned tangerines and oranges to the EU has fallen 80 per cent because of increased security measures and quota controls.

The government said that exports for the last five months stood at 136 tons, compared to 680 for the same period last year. The export trade centres on the East China coast, using Shanghai as the main shipping centre.

Export of canned orange and tangerine products to the European Union via Shanghai, one of the most important trading ports on the East China coast, was 136 tons in the first five months of the year, 80 percent down from the same period last year.

Related topics: Business, East Asia, China

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