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Angola to Become China’s Largest Supplier of Crude Oil

According to the recent statistics from General Administration of Customs, Angola is replacing Saudi Arabia as the largest oil exporter to China. In the first quarter of 2008, China imported 8.48 million tons of crude oil from Angola, a year-over-year growth of 55.1%, while the purchase from Saudi Arabia was 8.18 million tons, with a daily average of 0.68 million barrels. In the past 6 years, Saudi Arabia has been the leading provider of crude oil to China. In 2007, Saudi’s oil export was 26.33 million tons, or 0.528 million barrels. Although China is the second largest energy consumers around the world, it still heavily relies on coal as the main energy source. The crude oil consists 20% of the country’s total energy needs.

Source: Oriental Morning Post, April 23, 2008
http://epaper.dfdaily.com/dfzb/html/2008-04/23/content_52909.htm

China Loses Over 600 Billion Yuan (US$85.7 Billion) in Overseas Gambling Each Year

The most recent issue of Jiuding magazine (Macao) revealed that over 600 billion yuan (US$85.7 billion) goes overseas from China in casino, Internet, and underground gambling each year. The amount is 15 times that of the whole country’s welfare and sports lotteries in 2003. The number was quoted from data released by the Chinese Public Security Ministry. The article was widely posted on many Chinese websites including state media Xinhua and China News Agency.

Source: Xinhua, April 21, 2008 http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/gangao/2008-04/21/content_8018693.htm

Top Power Companies Post Huge Losses

For the first time, four out of five of the largest power companies are suffering from huge losses due to an increase in the price of coal, said Xinhua. The four are state-owned Datang Corporation, China Power Investment Corporation, Huadian Corporation and Guodian Corporation. All these power companies are state-owned.

According to official statistics released in April 2008, of the 4,773 power companies in China, 1,990 (41.69%) were in the red in the Jan-Feb period, which was 6.35 % higher than last year. The losses reached 13.79 billion yuan in the Jan-Feb period, a 218% increase over the same period last year.

In February 2008, Guandong Yudian Group Co., a Chinese power cmpany, purchased 7.5% stakes in Australia’s Whitehaven Coal Ltd (WHC) to ensure a consistent supply of coal.

Source:
Xinhua, April 8, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2008-04/08/content_7938753.htm
China News, April 20, 2008
http://www.chinanews.com.cn/cj/kong/news/2008/04-21/1226298.shtml

Wen Jiabao Says Most Outstanding Economic Problem is Inflation

According to Xinhua, Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao hosted a State Council Executive Meeting on current economic affairs on April 16, 2008. The meeting concluded that the most outstanding problem is the overall inflation. Other issues include low production in the agriculture sector, possible overheating of fixed asset investment, and a grim outlook for energy saving. The meeting also required that all branches of the government at all levels make sure the central government policies are effectively and thoroughly carried out from top to bottom.

Source: Xinhua, April 16, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-04/16/content_7989988.htm

China Deepens in Foreign Reserves Losses As US Dollar Weakens

On April 10, the exchange rate between US dollars and Chinese yuan fell below 7 yuan mark to 6.99920. Compared with the exchange rate prior to the currency reform in 2005, Chinese yuan has made cumulative appreciation of 15.5 percent against the dollars. One analysis suggested that the weakened dollars has caused China losing US$35.7 billion or 4 aircraft carriers in the past one month assuming 90 percent of China’s reserve is in US dollars.

Source: Global Times, April 11, 2008
http://www.huanqiu.com/www/115/2008-04/89144.html

State Council: Make Sure Price Control is Implemented

A Recent directive from the General Office of State Council re-emphasized exerting price control with “effective measures.” On April 2, 2008, The Correcting Industrial Illegitimate Practice Office (CIIPO) of the State Council issued a Notice On Implementing The Correction Of Industrial Illegitimate Practice in 2008. The notice asked “relevant authorities” to strengthen regulation on market price, strictly control the government-stipulated price, and take temporary measures to intervene the prices of necessities. It also demanded “strike hard” on illegalities on pricing practices.

Source: China.com.cn, April 10, 2008
http://www.china.com.cn/policy/txt/2008-04/10/content_14769635.htm

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