A financial data provider has reported that average prices of cement in big Chinese cities have picked up 15 per cent since September, ending eight months of decline. The central government also lowered capital requirements for infrastructure projects such as railways, ports and toll roads.
Cement consumption in the fourth quarter in China exceeded expectations . ”There is a pronounced rebound in infrastructure construction towards the end of the year,” said Chen Bolin, China Cement Association.
While official statistics suggest infrastructure spending remains weak, having grown only 3.3 per cent in the first 10 months of this year, the raw materials price rises provide the first signs of a more robust recovery, adds the Financial Times.
In the southern province of Guangdong, for example, where cement prices have risen by a fifth since September, local grinding units said demand was so strong that they have had to introduce quotas. “We are receiving more orders than we could deliver,” said an official at Conch Cement in Yingde, a city in Guangdong.
In October alone Guangdong started work on 39 provincial-level infrastructure projects, an increase from 21 in the previous quarter,” according to official data.