Jul 24, 2021 06:32 AM

Energy Insider: China’s Auto Sales Back to Pre-Pandemic Level

An FAW Audi showroom in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.
An FAW Audi showroom in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.

In today’s Caixin energy news wrap: China to release second batch of metals from state reserves to stabilize commodity prices; China's auto sales expected to surge after a three-year decline; China’s new carbon market inks first bulk deal; and China issues guidelines to help central regions boost green development.

China to sell second batch of metals from reserves to stabilize commodity prices

China will sell an additional 30,000 tons of copper, 90,000 tons of aluminum and 50,000 tons of zinc from state reserves July 29, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said Wednesday. The sales are intended to rein in skyrocketing commodity prices. The volumes are less than market expectations but greater than the first batch, which included a combined 100,000 tons of metals.

China’s auto sales expected to rebound after three-year decline

China’s auto market maintained an upward trend with all major indicators in the first half exceeding levels before the pandemic, a Ministry of Commerce official said Thursday at a news conference. Sales reached 12.9 million new autos in the first half, 25.6% higher than a year earlier and 4.4% more than in the 2019 period. New-energy vehicle sales tripled to nearly 1.2 million in the first half and came close to full-year 2019 sales. The official said China’s auto sales are expected to expand this year, reversing three years of declines, though a global semiconductor shortage and raw materials costs are starting to crimp production.

China’s new carbon market inks first bulk deal

China’s state energy giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) inked a deal Wednesday to purchase 100,000 tons of carbon emission quota with a total value of 5.29 million yuan ($817,190) from China Resources Group, marking the first bulk transaction since the official launch of the country’s national carbon market. Petrochemical companies like Sinopec are engaging in carbon trading with their own power generation units, which are under mounting pressure to meet emission goals, analysts said. A total of 17 Sinopec subsidiaries with their own power plants are included in the national carbon market so far.

Shaanxi coal chemical project suspended over gluttonous energy appetite

Resources-rich Yulin city in northwest China’s Shaanxi province suspended the construction of a coal chemical project billed as the largest of its kind worldwide as the country accelerates its drive to rein in energy consumption. The suspension is due to the project’s failure to complete an energy saving evaluation. Local energy consumption targets are being lowered in line with ambitious national carbon pledges, subjecting large-scale coal chemical projects to increasingly strict energy controls. Other energy-intensive coal chemical projects in Yulin, involving companies such as Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Co. Ltd. and Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd., may also face tighter scrutiny.

China issues guidelines to help central regions expand green development

China issued guidelines on promoting the high-quality development of the country's central region with a focus on expanding innovation-driven and green development and on promoting high-level opening-up in the inland areas. Under the plan, the country is set to build industrial cluster bases focused on sectors including intelligent manufacturing, new materials, new-energy vehicles and electronic information. In particular, a special focus will be put on upgrading traditional industries to become more intelligent and environmentally friendly in Central China. The government will also increase the number of commodities traded on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange.

Xijiang Daqo New Energy surges on Shanghai STAR debut

Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Co. Ltd. (688303.SH), a leading manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon, jumped 184% on its first trading day on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-like STAR Market in a sign of strong investors’ interest in China's renewable energy industries. Xinjiang Daqo share closed at 61.11 yuan ($9.45) per share, with a market value of 117.6 billion yuan. The company raised 6.07 billion yuan in net proceeds from its IPO. The majority of the proceeds will fund manufacturing capacity expansion for polysilicon, used in production of solar panels.

EVE to invest $379 million in building new production lines

A subsidiary of EVE Energy Co. Ltd. (300014.SZ), signed a strategic investment agreement with the High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Jingmen, Hubei province, to build several lithium battery production lines in the city with a total investment of 2.45 billion yuan ($379 million).

Steel capacity cuts in Shanxi miss targets

An inspection team from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment found that there were problems in Shanxi province’s steel industry capacity reduction. Among 18 capacity replacement projects approved by regulators since 2017, only one project’s replacement ratio met the requirements. Meanwhile, only 24 steelmakers completed technology revamps to meet ultra-low emission targets, accounting for 40% of steelmakers in the province.

Cement manufacturers in Guangxi raise prices

Cement prices in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region rose slightly, reversing a trend of declining prices since May. Cement manufacturers in Guangxi increased prices by 30 yuan ($4.64) per ton. China’s cement prices will continue to recover as high-consumption season approaches in August.

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