Dhaka, Bangladesh
China reports faster profit growth in oil, petrochemical industry

China reports faster profit growth in oil, petrochemical industry

BEIJING, Feb 9 (Xinhua): China’s oil and petrochemical industry registered a profit growth of 32.1 percent in 2018, beating the 10.3-percent average rise for the country’s major industrial enterprises. The industry’s output steadily expanded in 2018 and showed fairly good momentum in achieving sound economic performance as a result of continuously falling costs and a stable market demand, said a report from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The aggregate profit of the industry reached 839.38 billion yuan (about 125 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 12.7 percent of the total generated by the country’s major industrial enterprises. The industry’s total export totaled 701.87 billion yuan, up 22 percent. The export of specialty chemicals, synthetic materials and organic chemical materials expanded by 19.7 percent, 17.2 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively. The industry’s investment rose by 6 percent in 2018, reversing a decline for two consecutive years. China’s container transport for export purposes gained momentum in January due to rising shipping demand ahead of the Spring Festival, according to data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. The average China Export Containerized Freight Index stood at 856.43 points in January, up 0.8 percent from December 2018, the exchange said in a statement. The new figure was much higher than an average of 817.8 points last year. The exchange said shipping demand rose last month ahead of the Spring Festival, China’s Lunar New Year, which fell on Feb. 5 this year. Last month, the sub-index for the Persian Gulf/Red Sea route saw the strongest rally of 18.6 percent, while those for South American and European routes rose 8.2 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. The China Export Containerized Freight Index was first released by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange in April 1998 as a barometer for the export shipping market. Despite a subdued global economic outlook, J.P. Morgan’s Chief China Economist Zhu Haibin said China’s supportive policies will underpin its economic growth. The country will implement counter-cyclical fiscal and monetary policies to cope with downward pressure in the short term, while continuing structural reforms for long-term development, Zhu said. Despite external headwinds, China’s economy expanded by a slower but more sustainable rate of 6.6 percent in 2018. Policymakers have unveiled a series of supportive measures to stabilize growth, including reduction of taxes and fees, expanding consumption and investment and boosting employment. Zhu expects tax reductions to equal to 1.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 and to lift GDP growth by 0.46 percentage points. He considered views that claimed China’s consumption had lost steam as misleading and blamed weak auto sales for last year’s slower consumption growth. Consumption, excluding auto sales, has maintained a stable increase last year and will be boosted by tax breaks and other supportive policies, he said. Zhu expects China’s fixed-asset investment to increase 5.7 percent year on year this year, down slightly from a rise of 5.9 percent in 2018. But he forecast that growth of infrastructure investment will rebound this year, while that of property investment will moderate.

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