China’s manufacturing recovers further in October

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China's manufacturing activity expanded in October with a private-sector reading showing its fastest growth in nearly 10 years.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) published by private-sector Chinese firm Caixin rose to 53.6 in October, its highest level since February 2011, from 53 in September. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The major sub-indexes for Caixin's PMI all increased in October. Growth in new orders was the steepest since December 2010. New export orders also continued to expand.

China's official manufacturing PMI fell slightly to 51.4 in October from 51.5 in September, according to the national statistics bureau (NBS). Caixin surveys fewer, mainly smaller and medium-size companies for its PMI compared with the official NBS index.

"PMIs remaining above the 50-level threshold in October turned out better than expected, indicating an upwards trend in the coming months, which has fuelled market confidence," a Hebei-based steel mill manager said. "Strong PMI and decreased steel stocks boosted steel markets today."

The most active futures for rebar rose by 0.87pc to 3,719 yuan/t ($555/t), while hot-rolled coil rose by 0.52pc to Yn3,875/t.

The NBS sub-indexes for new export orders and imports rose to one-year highs at 51 and 50.8 respectively in October. The sub-index for new orders was unchanged at September's one-year high of 52.8. Its production sub-index fell by 0.1 points from September to 53.9, the third-highest reading in the past year.

The official PMI has been in expansion above 50 since March and above 51 since July, "indicating manufacturing activity is really warming up", a north China mill manager said. "The effect can be seen in healthy steel demand, which has been a good support for this round of iron ore price rise since 27 October."

The Argus ICX 62pc fines index rose by $2.30/dry metric tonne (dmt) to $117.45/dmt cfr Qingdao over 26-30 October.

By Kitty Xie and China staff

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