Domestic consumption in China continues to pick up speed
Domestic consumption in China continues to pick up speed

18 September 2023 – Chinese consumption has continued to grow. Online retailers in particular are ahead. Commodities could benefit from Chinese domestic consumption. German ports really a matter for the local governments? The German states with maritime ports are disappointed with the vague and unspecific stance taken by Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

Domestic consumption in China continues to pick up speed

Retail sales in China picked up in August, rising by 4.6% year-on-year, compared with 2.5% in July. Growth in online retail sales remained constant year-on-year at 12.1%. Month-on-month momentum actually increased from 6.3% to 8.4%, defying the usual summer slowdown.

China’s online retailers are in for a busy year-end spurt

If Beijing’s incentives such as mortgage and consumer loan rate cuts continue to boost incomes and credit demand, the major online platforms should benefit. This is especially true in the traditionally strong year-end quarter ahead. Signs suggest that China’s online retailers are in for a busy year-end spurt.

Commodities likely to benefit from Chinese domestic consumption

Commodities on the Asian SHFE trended positively sideways on Monday. Stainless steel futures were up 0.39% and HRC was up 0.31%. Tin was up 1.8% and lead was up 1.5%. Metallurgical Coke was up more than 2.3% on the DCE. LME nickel climbed back above $20,000/MT at the start of trading.

The positive outlook for Chinese domestic consumption should also support commodity prices in the fourth quarter.

German ports really a matter for the federal states?

The Maritime Conference in Bremen, which was supposed to deal with the future of German ports, came to an end last week with a lot of criticism in the direction of the German Federal Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, the Green Party.

Much promised, but nothing concrete

In his speech at the maritime conference in Bremen, as well as in subsequent interviews, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck promised a lot: Investments, orders and support for the maritime industry. But on closer inspection, many announcements remain vague and unspecific.

Habeck shifts responsibility away from himself

When asked about timetables for concrete projects such as the construction of converter platforms in Germany, Habeck is evasive. He shifts responsibility back and forth between the federal government and the states on the topic of port investments. And even his full-bodied announcements are often not backed up with substance on closer inspection.

Maritime industry does not need empty promises

It is time for Robert Habeck to stop hiding behind euphonious phrases. The maritime industry does not need empty promises, but concrete commitments and a binding roadmap. The Federal Minister of Economics must show that he has understood the importance of this key industry. Instead of more and more announcements, what is needed now are clear decisions, assertiveness and less bureaucracy.

Full arms only for the steel industry?

The full arms Mr. Habeck is talking about must finally become visible, and not only in the German steel industry. “Overall, the Federal Ministry of Economics has never been so poorly staffed,” Thorsten Gerber, CEO of the Gerber Group, commented today. He continued, “We are lucky that the German Federal Minister of Finance not only knows something about finance but can also successfully intervene in the resort economy.”

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