The growth of China’s building materials industry has been slowing down quarter by quarter this year owing to the government’s macro economic control measures since the second half of last year, particularly since the second quarter of this year. The sector generated an industrial added value of 143.9 billion yuan (US$17.4 billion) in the first three quarters, up 31.5 per cent year on year, with the growth rate down from 47.9 per cent in the first quarter and 39.7 per cent in the first half of this year. Since the second quarter, the growth rate has been declining month by month, to the level as in the same period of last year by September.
The slowdown was related to the government’s macro economic control measures, aimed mainly to check overheating of investment in real estate, cement, steel and electrolytic aluminum industries.
In terms of the output of major building materials products in the first three quarters, a surge of over 40 per cent was registered for cement prefabricated pipes, granite slabs, gypsum slabs and hollow glass, while the output of commodity concrete, plate glass, reinforced glass, sandwich glass, quartz glass, floor and wall bricks, sanitary ceramics and glass fiber yarn each increased more than 20 per cent.
China’s cement output reached 667 million tons in the first three quarters, up 15.3 per cent year on year. Its growth slowed down quickly month by month after February, to 10 per cent in August and 9.7 per cent in September, down from a peak of 33.5 per cent in February. In the nine months, the cement export reached 4.42Mt, up 16.8 per cent year on year, with export value up 22.4 per cent to hit US$148m (roughly equivalent to an export price of US$33.5/tonne). China’s domestic demand for building materials is generally still brisk. The recovery of the economies in neighboring countries will also pull up China’s building materials export.