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China In-Focus: Electricity generation slips 4.3% in April amid Covid-19 repercussions

RIYADH: China’s economy is hindered by COVID-19 restrictions across several sectors. The country’s electricity generation has dropped in April when compared to the same period a year ago.

The UK’s Standard Chartered Plc and Bloomberg Economic have both downgraded the Asian country’s growth outlook for 2022.

Meanwhile, London copper prices inched higher on Thursday on the hopes that COVID-19 restrictions in the Asian country will slowly cool.

On another note, China has lifted a restriction on Canadian canal seed for reasons that are yet to be revealed.

·China’s electricity generation slipped 4.3 percent during the month of April when compared to the corresponding period a year earlier to reach 608.6 billion kilowatt-hours, Bloomberg reported. This comes as a result of Covid-19 restrictions which have hindered the Asian country’s economic activity and electricity output respectively. In addition to this, thermal output dropped 12 percent, reflecting the biggest drop since 2008. This was mainly attributed to the surge in renewables as China installed more solar capacity in the first quarter than anticipated.

·British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered Plc as well as Bloomberg Economics have both cut China growth forecasts for 2022 amid poor data for April was revealed, Bloomberg reported. Standard Chartered Plc has revised downwards the full year growth forecast to 4.1 percent year-on-year, down from 5 percent originally. They also downgraded the second-quarter growth to 0.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent. On the other hand, Bloomberg Economics cut forecasts for 2022 growth to just 2 percent, down from 3.6 percent previously.

·London copper prices surged on Thursday, eyeing Chinese demand as Covid-19 restrictions are anticipated to ease off soon. Starting June, Shanghai will start allowing businesses to resume normally in zero-Covid areas, Reuters reported, citing deputy mayor Zhang Wei. 

·China has lifted a three-year constraint on imports of Canadian canola seed, Reuters reported, citing Canadian officials. While the reason behind lifting the ban is yet to be disclosed, trade between both countries is expected to be slow as a result of high prices and low stocks. The ban was originally imposed by China back in 2019 after pests have been found in the shipments.

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