Apr 12, 2019 08:28 AM

CX Daily: China's Consumer Price Index, Pig Farms See Turnaround

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

Consumer inflation hits five-month high on rising pork, vegetable prices

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, rose 2.3% last month from a year ago, compared with an increase of 1.5% in February and the highest level since October, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The pickup in consumer inflation was mainly driven by food prices, which rose 4.1% YOY in March, picking up from 0.7% growth in the previous month. Average vegetable prices increase 16.2% YOY during a low season for production, contributing 0.42 percentage point to the CPI gain. The price of pork increased 5.1% YOY amid an ongoing outbreak of African swine fever, the first rise in 26 months.

African swine fever has led to declining pig stocks and reluctance among farmers to breed their animals, causing a pork shortage that has pushed up the price of the country’s favorite meat. Analysts at Citic Securities project that pork prices will be the main driver of CPI growth in the future, although inflation probably won’t rise significantly as other factors are likely to remain subdued.



Equities /

Hong Kong’s stock market is now the world’s third-largest

The equity market of Hong Kong overtook Japan to become the world’s third-largest with a combined market capitalization of $5.78 trillion Tuesday, behind only the U.S. and Chinese mainland markets.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index has climbed nearly 17% since the beginning of the year, adding $937 billion of market value for stocks trading in the city.

SEOs /

Fitch warning highlights jitters about Tianjin’s state firms

Fitch Ratings has put Tianjin-based commodities trader Tewoo Group Co. Ltd.’s foreign debt on negative watch over liquidity concerns, indicating its debt rating of BBB could be downgraded or remain at its present level, according to Fitch’s rating definitions.

The warning highlights market jitters about the solvency of the city’s SEOs, which have been hit by a wave of defaults, bankruptcies and corruption scandals in recent years.

Coming up /

Tues, April 16: NBS will release its March report on sales prices of residential buildings in 70 medium and large cities.

Wednesday, April 17: NBS will release Q1 GDP and March urban unemployment rates.

Other forthcoming monthly reports cover industrial production operation, investment in fixed assets, investment in real estate development, total retail sales of consumer goods and energy production.

Lastly, it will release two quarterly reports on residential income and expenditure and industrial capacity utilization.

Thursday, April 18: NBS will publish preliminary results on major industries' Q1 output.

Quick hits /

Book review: Former central bank top researcher on the hard parts of reform

Online lending crackdown moves into gang investigations



Pigs on a farm in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, Dec. 15, 2018. Photo: VCG

Swine fever /

China’s ravaged pig breeders expected to recover in 2019

After their profits got slaughtered last year during an outbreak of African swine fever, China’s major corporate hog breeders say they expect their businesses to recover this year as the resulting supply shortage pushes up prices.

China's top two hog-raising companies reported slumps in profits between 40% and 78% in 2018. But on March 11, live hog prices in China rose to the highest level in 14 months, hitting 15.09 yuan ($2.25) a kilogram, Reuters reported. China Merchants Securities forecasts that live hog prices will hit a record high this year and will remain elevated going into 2021.

Asset sale /

Exclusive: Private equity firm Hopu may bid for Gree stake

There may be competition for a 15% stake in state-backed Gree Electric Appliances as the Chinese private equity firm Hopu Investments is planning a purchase bid, sources familiar with the matter told us, following our report that Gree Electric Chairwoman Dong Mingzhu was also interested.

To buy the Gree stake, Hopu intends to join with a financial investment institution in Macao, sources familiar with the matter told us. Another government-backed institution said that it’s also closely monitoring the Gree Electric stake sale.

Gambling /

How Australian casino giant's China dream turned into a nightmare

There was a time when James Packer, Australian billionaire and investor, appeared to be unstoppable. Over breakfast one time with journalists, he outlined plans to build a global tourism and gaming brand in Crown Resorts Ltd., eyeing, as a centerpiece of his ambitions, the Chinese territory of Macao.

That plan turned sour in October 2016 when Chinese authorities detained 18 Crown employees, including three Australians, for promoting gambling — illegal in China. That was the beginning of the end of Packer's China dream, as Beijing's clampdown on corruption and capital outflows took its toll on the Las Vegas-style casinos sprouting up in the former Portuguese colony.

Check out our in-depth feature.

Commercial property /

Jia Yueting’s Beijing mall gets a 5% discount in new auction

A commercial complex in downtown Beijing owned by debt-ridden entrepreneur Jia Yueting was put up for sale again at a price of 115 million yuan ($17 million, or 5%) lower than in an earlier auction that failed to attract any bids.

A new online auction for Shimao Gongsan, a shopping complex in the city’s Sanlitun area, is scheduled for Sunday, according to the public auction site operated by Alibaba Group. The property, which has an estimated value of 3.3 billion yuan, will be offered with a starting price of 2.19 billion yuan. In January, investors shrugged off a starting price of 2.3 billion yuan.

Quick hits /

Mum's the word on reported VW China investment

Tough time ahead for EV startups, executive says

Xiaomi-backed robot vacuum maker applies for new tech board listing

WeWork, Alibaba cook up incubation program for startups

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