China Producer Price Increase Slows In January

Factory gate prices in China slowed marginally in January compared with a year earlier as steel products and some consumer goods became cheaper, government statistics showed Feb. 21.

China's producer price index (PPI) rose 3.1% in January, down from a rise of 3.2% in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The cost of large-and medium-sized steel products fell 5.2% and 9.7%, while smaller steel items slid 4.7%. Steel wire slipped 8.4% while steel plate lost 16.9%.

Energy prices, however, became more expensive as crude oil climbed 40.7%, with gasoline, kerosene and diesel prices up 25.9%, 22.6% and 21.9% respectively.

Raw coal prices were up 12.4%, while non-ferrous metal processing prices rose 13.2%, with copper, aluminum and lead up between 3.8% and 29.1%.

The bureau said consumer goods prices dropped 0.3%; food and related products fell 0.5%, while clothing climbed 1.4%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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