US Dollar Exchange Rates of
China Yuan 6.2377
Report from China
GDP growth slows but still solid
The pace of China‟s economic growth lost some steam in
the first quarter creating additional challenges for the
government as it tries to implement reforms.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that the
Chinese economy expanded at an annualised rate of 7.4%
in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year.
The 7.4% GDP growth was just short of the government‟s
target of 7.5% but, in contrast to recent growth rates (7.8%
in each of the past two years and almost 10% in 2010 and
2011), there seems a danger that growth could slow further
especially as the housing market has cooled and there are
signs of pessimism in the manufacturing sector.
Fortunately, retail sales are still solid but not overly strong.
The question is not if, but when will the government
introduce stimulus measures over and above the recent
support for small and medium sized companies and extra
funding of infrastructure and social housing projects.
Industry cautiously optimistic on short-term prospects
Chinese industrialists polled for the update of the business
climate index (BCI) were more optimistic in the latest
survey such that the BCI in the first quarter was 128.0 an
increase of 3.7 points quarter-on-quarter.
The press release from the National Bureau of Statistics
says that, while prospects are improving, the survey
showed industrialists were more cautious of the short term
and this was reflected in a weaker result for the current
state of businesses (index 122.5, down 6.1 points quarteron-
For more see:
In terms of enterprise size, the quarter on quarter BCI for
large enterprises was 132.5 (down 11 points), for medium
sized enterprises the BCI was 129.4 (up 3.5 points) and for
small-sized enterprises the BCI was 121.0 (up 5.3 points).
Online retails sales jump 50% in first quarter
In March 2014, total retail sales of consumer goods in
China amounted to yuan 1,980.1 billion , an increase of
just over 12.2 percent year-on-year (nominal growth).
From January to March total retail sales of consumer
goods was yuan 6,208.1 billion up by 12.0 percent yearon-
year of which online retail sales increased by over 50
percent to yuan 81.5 billion.
For more see:
Housing investment cools in first quarter
The National Bureau of Statistics has released details of
real estate developments in the first quarter of 2014.
Total investment in real estate development in the first
three months of 2014 was yuan 1,533.9 billion, a nominal
increase of 17 percent year-on-year (or close to 16 percent
when price factors are taken into account). The first
quarter figures represent a, 2.5 percent decline in
investment compared to the previous quarter.
Of the total, investment in residential buildings fell by 2.5
percent and accounted for 68.7 percent of all real estate
Nationwide, home sales for the first quarter fell almost 8
percent year on year and across the country developers are
finding it increasingly difficult to sell properties and have
resorted to offering big discounts, a far cry from 2013
when house prices rose 26.6%.
The central government is trying to slow the growth in
credit and loans for house purchases and housing
developments. In the first quarter credit growth was at its
lowest for over a decade.
Land purchases for real estate development also down
In the first three months of this year land purchased by the
real estate development enterprises fell 2.3 percent yearon-
year. The full quarter figures were pulled down by a
shrp decline in land purchases in the final month of the
quarter. In March the national real estate climate index
was 96.4 down half a point from February.
Explosive demand for Hongmu drives policies on
control and management
Hongmu, or „redwoods‟ have a long history of use in
China. During the Ming Dynasty the when the emperor
visited foreign countries he often carried Hongmu
furniture as gifts.
In the Qing Dynasty Hongmu furniture and wooden
utensils where highly prestigious and, through foreign
influence baroque and rococo style furniture appeared. In
China today Hongmu furniture is considered as providing
comfort and dignity as well as prestige.
The market for Hongmu products grew between steadily
between 2001 to 2007 but from 2008 demand „erupted‟
and Chinese importers began sourcing a variety of
„redwoods‟ from around the world. As supplies of
Hongmu are declining prices are expected to rise sharply.
The top Hongmu distribution centres in China are in the
Dajiang, Guanglan, Shaxi, Xinhui and Dachong cities in
Guangdong Province; Guangxi Pingxiang City, Hebei
Xianghe and Dacheng cities; Jiangsu Changshu and
Suzhou cities; Zhejiang Dongyang City; as well as Fujian
Indicative prices for „redwoods‟ are shown below. Prices
in yuan per tonne.
Redwood control and management policies
According to China‟s National Standard (GB/T18107-
2000) „redwoods‟ (Hongmu in China) refers to the
heartwood of Pterocarpus spp., Dalbergia spp., Millettia
spp., and Cassia spp., whose density, texture and colour
meet the requirements defined in the National Hongmu
Standard. Currently 33 species , 8 genus, 5 families are
listed in the standard and these are found mainly in
At present the scope of the Hongmu Standard is being
discussed some people are advocating no change, others
suggest adding species to the current list while others
suggest removing some species from the list.
According to Mr. Zhang Yu, of the Plants, Endangered
Species Import and Export Management Office which is
also the CITES Management Authority in China, 7 species
are listed in CITES Appendixes Dalbergia nigra, D.
cochinchinensis, D. louvelii, D. granadillo, D. retusa, D.
stevensonii, Pterocarpus santalinus. With another 3
species, domestic species D. odorifera, D. fusca, P. indicus
being listed as protected.
The following redwood logs can be imported into China
provided a CITES license is obtained:
The Chinese government has policies in place to control
and manage Hongmu imports as outlined below:
The National Endangered Species Import and Export
Management Office have, after consulting with the
General Administration of Customs, developed
mechanisms for strengthening the management of
endangered timber species imports.
To contribute to the control of „redwood‟ imports the
General Administration of Customs issued a circular in
2013 „Issues for Strengthening the Control over the Import
of Endangered Timber‟. This requires Customs Officers to
vigorously inspect and control imports.
In addition, the Chinese government has increased
publicity, training and guidance for the consumers on
China National Forest Product Industry Association and its
Hongmu sub-Committee also provides training and advice
to importers and consumers.
Timber price indices
The following indices are prepared by the Ministry of
Commerce and the China Timber and Wood Products
Distribution Association and published in a Chinese
magazine, "China Timber and Wood Products".
For full details see:
These price indices provided are calculated based on the