A worker carries a steel bar at a construction site in Huzhou, China. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
A worker carries a steel bar at a construction site in Huzhou, China. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

The value-added output of China’s building materials sector gained 0.7% in the first three quarters from the same period of last year, reversing the previous downward trend, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

In September alone, the value-added output jumped 8.9% year-on-year, expanding by 2.4 percentage points from the growth rate a year ago, MIIT data showed.

Prices of building materials rose 0.05% year-on-year in the first three quarters, with cement prices down 3.3% and that of a plate of glass up 6.9%.

The sector’s profits during the period edged down 0.9% year-on-year, almost returning to the same period last year. In September alone, the total profits of the sector surged 16.4% year-on-year, up 5.4% from the previous month.

Foreign trade

China’s foreign trade expanded 4.6% year-on-year in October, said the General Administration of Customs (GAC). Exports jumped 7.6% year-on-year, while imports climbed 0.9% in yuan terms.

In the first 10 months, China’s foreign trade of goods totaled 25.95 trillion yuan (US$3.91 trillion), up 1.1% year-on-year, accelerating from an increase of 0.7% in the first three quarters, the GAC said in a statement.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China’s largest trading partner during the period, followed by the European Union and the United States.

Private companies played a significant role in propelling trade growth, with their foreign trade expanding by 10.5% in the first 10 months to account for 46.2% of the country’s total, GAC data showed.

Company news

Six Chinese auto parts suppliers plan to invest a combined 5 billion yuan in Chengdu in southwest China to produce seats, battery packs, bumpers and other parts for automaker Volvo Cars.

The suppliers signed the deal with the government of the economic and technological development zone of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Volvo Cars now has a manufacturing plant in Chengdu, where its XC60 models are produced.

“Bringing suppliers to Chengdu not only optimizes Volvo’s value chain, but also helps us realize our commitment to China, the world’s largest single auto market,” said Li Hai, vice-president of procurement of Volvo Cars Asia Pacific, at the 2020 Volvo Car Asia Pacific Supplier Convention held in Chengdu.

Apart from Chengdu, Volvo Cars has manufacturing bases in Daqing of Heilongjiang Province, Luqiao in Zhejiang Province and Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province.

Great Wall Motors (GWM), China’s largest sports utility vehicle (SUV) and pickup manufacturer, saw vehicle sales rise 15% month on month to 135,559 units in October, hitting a monthly sales record.

Haval, GWM’s leading SUV brand, drove the overall sales growth of the company, with 97,950 units sold in October. The Haval H6 model sold 52,734 units last month, making it the best-selling SUV in China for 89 months, the company said.

Great Wall pickups further strengthened their dominant position in the market in October with sales of 20,405 vehicles, a year-on-year growth of 28%. Among new-energy vehicles, the ORA brand sold 8,011 units in October, marking strong year-on-year growth of 352%.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Shan Hui and first published at ATimesCN.com.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.