China's factory gate prices rise to record high in September

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China's factory gate prices rise to record high in September

China's annual factory gate prices grew on record in September, as they were driven by energy curbs and soaring commodity prices, piling pressure on businesses struggling with supply bottlenecks.

The producer price index PPI rose 10.7 percent from a year earlier in September, the National Bureau of Statistics NBS said on Thursday, the biggest rise since the data began to be compiled in 1996. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected PPI to grow 10.5 percent following a 9.5 percent increase in August.

A growing power shortage in China, caused by the country's transition to clean energy, booming industrial demand and high commodity prices have halted production at numerous factories including many supplying large global brands such as Apple.

The power crunch has hit output across the cement, steel and aluminum industries, while utility companies have struggled to keep up with post-pandemic power demand.

Against this backdrop, Chinese energy and petrochemicals futures rose to record highs on Monday, further supported by an oil price rally.

Thermal coal prices at the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange increased 62 percent last month and were last up 8 percent at 1,408. The US exchange rate for 20 yuan US $ 218.77 ton was already a quarter of what it had been for two years and with a coal shortage is now zero.

Beijing has taken a raft of measures to prevent record-high coal prices and ease the country's power crunch, including encouraging coal miners to boost output and manage electricity demand at industrial plants.

Despite this, coal prices have remained high, partly due to the shutdown of dozens of coal mines as floods hit the top coal producing province of Shanxi.

NBS data also showed China's consumer price index CPI rose in September 0.7 percent, bigger than the Reuters polled estimate of 0.95 percent gain and a 0.8 percent rise in August.

Beijing is importing pork to support the price of staple meat after they plunged earlier this year, leading to heavy losses for farmers.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was set at 1.2 percent in September after disappearing in August.