September is traditionally regarded as a peak season for real estate sales on the mainland. But Evergrande Real Estate reported a 35.4 per cent month-on-month decline in sales to 1.42 million square metres, down from the 2.2 million square metres it sold in August.
China Vanke reported that its contracted sales in September amounted to 1.84 million square metres in gross floor area terms, up just 7.3 per cent from August’s 1.72 million square metres.
“This is because developers reaped strong sales in the second quarter,” Hong said.
The number of new homes sold in Shenzhen between September 1 and September 29 fell 32 per cent month on month to 3,849, according to official data. In Beijing, home sales in September fell 30 per cent month on month, according to Beijing-based property agent Yahao.
Carlby Xie, director of research at Colliers China, said that due to limited supply, the outlook for housing markets in first-tier cities remained positive, but he was concerned about the situation in smaller cities which still had high levels of inventory.
Some analysts expect better in the next two months.
“We believe satisfactory sales in October and November, on the back of more launches by developers and more favourable policies from the government, will be the next positive catalysts for the China property sector,” Barclays property analyst Alvin Wong said in a report released on Thursday.
SouFun’s 100-city price index rose 0.28 per cent month on month in September.
But this is one of the great bear markets. It may seem less important because few people are directly invested in commodities. But in terms of people's daily lives, commodity prices are very important indeed. The Arab spring started as a response to soaring food prices in North Africa. Rising and falling prices act as a tax rise/cut for western consumers. For commodity producing nations, falling prices mean loss export earnings, lost jobs and currency crises.
The key question of the moment is whether the fall in commodity prices falls into the good news (tax cut) or bad news (weakening global economy) category. Inevitably, the debate focuses around China, given that it was soaring Chinese demand for raw materials that was perceived to drive the great bull market last decade. We wrote recently about the way that the Chinese market was changing, as the country has less need for more infrastructure, and thus for iron ore, steel, copper etc. The Chinese have also been moving to a model in which they create more manufactured goods from scratch, rather than assemble parts made elsewhere; this may explain why other Asian exports have been so weak.
One can simply see the commodity price decline as the global economy doing its job, in the form of a super-cycle. Rising prices bring forward new sources of supply as production at marginal sites becomes profitable; they also cause consumers to economise on raw material use. This brings prices down, so production falls sharply, allowing the whole cycle to begin again. Beause it takes a lot of time to build new mines, develop oil fields etc, this whole process takes more than a decade.
Nevertheless, there seem to be broader signs of concern about the global economy which the commodity price decline seems to reinforce. Composite purchasing managers' indices for the manufacturing sector in the emerging market countries have dipped slightly below 50, indicating a decline in output. Figures show that unemployment in emerging markets has risen from 5.2% to 5.7% since the start of the year. The IMF cut its global growth forecastfor this year to 3.3% from 3.5%, largely on American first half weakness. Hopes that the oil price fall in late 2014 would act as a big surge to western demand have only been partly fulfilled; auto sales may be running at the best rate in a decade but retail sales were up only 1.4% year-on-year in June.
MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Stumbling under the strain of low crude oil prices, the Russian economy will run out of reserve funds as early as 2017, the deputy finance minister said.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Tatiana Nesterenko said private sector investments are all-but out of the question when access to foreign markets is limited.
"Reserve funds are depleting. We believe reserve funds may end at such rates of their spending," she said. "We will use up resources received when oil prices were high by 2017-18."
The Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put positive pressure on crude oil prices. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last week Russia was responding from a position of weakness brought on by the dual economic strains of lower crude oil prices and tighter sanctions.
Is it really too much to ask that we live in a continent where it is safe to breathe?
Currently, because testing procedures specified under EU rules are harmfully inadequate, nine out of ten diesel vehicles exceed the permitted pollution levels. The fight is now underway at EU level to ensure that pollutants emitted in the lab under new test procedures accurately reflect emissions from the car in real driving conditions.
The cost of air pollution is immense in human terms: we're talking about 400,000 premature deaths in Europe every year. It is also a huge financial drain, since air pollution in the European Union costs around 766 billion euros every year.
Forty million EU citizens are also exposed to levels of a certain size of particulate matter, 'PM10', which are above the legal European limits. PM10 is a deadly form of air pollution which diesel cars emit.
But, to add insult to injury, clean air for everyone will be even harder to achieve given recent revelations that the German car manufacturer Volkswagen has cheated on the pollution tests for 11 million of its diesel vehicles. This constitutes an unprecedented health scandal.
The "dieselgate" scandal shows unequivocally that EU emission limits to curb polluting emissions from vehicles are not just not being respected, but that manufacturers are committing fraud, with criminal intent, through the use of so-called 'defeat devices' which trick the test procedure into thinking that the car has much lower emissions of nitrogen oxides than it will have on the road. Nitrogen oxides react in the atmosphere to form nitrogen dioxide, which is toxic to human health. Beyond the case of Volkswagen, the scandal is also likely to concern other manufacturers.
Having maintained the myth of "clean diesel", car-makers are now trying to avoid a Europe-wide inquiry. As Green MEPs for the South West and South East of England, and London, we call on the EU institutions not give into industry lobbying, the result of which would be the protection of private interests at the expense of citizens' health.
We refuse to accept that the people we represent continue to be poisoned in order to swell the profits of car manufacturers. We therefore call for full transparency and for the law to be upheld.
We believe that the European Commission must immediately launch an inquiry into all vehicles, both petrol and diesel, on the European market to discover the extent to which defeat devices are being used to cheat emission tests for NOx but also for other pollutants, including CO2.
This varies from case to case:
In all cases, the petitioner will receive a response detailing the results of the action taken.
Records tumble at the LME but China expansion on hold
The London Metal Exchange saw record electronic trading volumes after Glencore's decision to cut a third of its annual zinc production on Friday. The exchange is also planning to launch mini-futures contracts in nickel, tin and lead in Hong Kong but has abandoned plans to set up a warehousing network in China for the time being, according to Charles Li, the head of Hong Kong Exchange, the parent company of the LME.
Everyone is pessimistic on base metals.
At the LME Seminar in Westminster there was hardly a positive word from its panellists on aluminium, copper, nickel, lead or zinc.
There would need to be "deep pain" and production cuts in the market outside China before stockpiles of aluminium fall said one consultant, while copper could take another lurch lower because of weak demand in China and emerging markets. As for zinc the positive impact from Glencore's big production cut could be offset by increased Chinese production. Electric vehicles were seen threatening the future of lead while large warehouse stocks will continue to weigh on the price of nickel.
Who is next (for production cuts)?
First it was thermal coal, then copper and most recently zinc. Delegates at the LME Seminar said nickel could be the next base metal where the pain of lower prices forces mines to close or be put under care and maintenance. Alternatively, attendees speculated one option might be for Glencore to look to merge its Canadian nickel operations with neighbouring assets controlled by Vale and lower output that way along with significant cost savings.