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China Builds World’s Longest Sea Bridge 6/30/2011

China Opens Jiaozhou Bay BridgeOn Thursday, June 30th, China announced the opening of the world’s longest cross-sea Bridge. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge connects China’s Eastern port city of Qingdao with the island of Huangdao and is a mere 26 miles long. Bridges of this size don’t come cheap… even in China. The 110 foot-wide bridge required more than 5,000 support pillars and cost upwards of USD $1.5 billion.

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge took more than four years to build but is anticipated to cut travel time between the two cities in half. Approximately 30,000 cars will drive over this bridge each day.

Maybe they will even hold marathons across it one day… talk about a nice view.

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

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China & US March Manufacturing Rates Rise 4/7/2011

China U.S. manufacturingDespite fears that China’s efforts to decrease inflation would decrease economic growth, the production numbers still indicate a rise in China Manufacturing this March. March’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose from 52.2 in February, to 53.4 in March.

According to economists, China’s central bank will increase interest rates again this quarter to further curb inflation. Some argue that this will eventually hurt China’s overall economy in addition to slowing the growth, but only time can tell.

The manufacturing sector in the United States also grew this past March. It was the 20th consecutive month for manufacturing growth. In fact, it was also the 22nd consecutive month for overall economy growth as well. The PMI for March was 61.4 percent, which is down from February’s 61.4 percent, but any number above 50 indicates growth. The economy also grew by 3.1 percent during the last quarter of 2010.

Source 1

Source 2

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10 China Facts You May Not Have Known 2/2/2011

China Facts Skyline and Flag
1.       China is the second largest economy in the world.

2.       China is the largest exporter in the world.

3.       China is the second largest importer in the world.

4.       China currently accounts for nearly 10% of world trade.

5.       The United States’ 2010 estimated GDP is $14.7 trillion.

6.       China’s 2010 estimated GDP is $9.8 trillion.

7.       The Chinese government indicated in January that its companies signed contracts worth $45 Billion with American businesses. This increase in United States export business is expected to support an estimated 235,000 U.S. jobs. (The Boeing Airplane order for 200 planes is the largest portion of this deal, valued at $19 Billion.)

8.       Before this year, the last time that an American President hosted China’s president for a dinner was 13 years ago during the Clinton administration.

9.       In 2009, China’s economy was one third the size of the United States’ economy.

10.   China’s population is approximately 4 times the size of America’s population.

*Note: Ok, so number seven is only about America, but I wanted to show the comparison. The facts listed above are to the best of my knowledge the most accurate as of today. There is no guarantee they will stay true in the future.

Sources:
1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/business/global/16yuan.html
2. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/01/10/china-exports.html
3. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2011-01/29/content_11937210.htm
4. http://www.china.org.cn/business/2010-11/19/content_21378120.htm
5. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html
6. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html
7. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/19/fact-sheet-us-china-commercial-relations
8. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_us_china_state_dinner
9. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/18902.htm
10. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html

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China Food Prices: Still on the Rise 11/22/2010

China Food Prices- Farmers Market in BeijingThis morning, an article out of the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia reports on the climbing food prices that continue to be seen in China. Farmers Markets throughout China have seen a spike in prices this year.

Some say the rise in feed and seed costs are responsible, starting a chain reaction: farmers must charge the suppliers more for the raw commodities,  who then turn around and truck it to the markets on trucks fueled with highly priced diesel, who pass on their costs on to the merchants, who then pass it on to the customers.

This food price inflation can be seen across the board, from the cost of a dozen eggs , that has risen almost 50% since the summer months, to the price of leeks that has doubled in the past year, according to one shopkeeper in Beijing. The annual food-price inflation hit 10.1% in October compared to 2009.

Causes? Economists worry that the economy is now starting to overheat as a result of the two year stimulus and the excess money floating through the economy.

Last week Premier Wen Jiabao announced food price controls on certain commodities including cotton, grain, oil and sugar and has introduced subsidies to some low-income families. Although some analysts believe these actions are designed to be symbolic, as a way to reassure the poor, they do reflect the government’s efforts to combat inflation.

The question looming in many boardrooms this month is what the impact these price increases will have on importer’s supply chains.  With China exporting billions of dollars a year of food products to companies in the United States, these increases could present an interesting challenge to this industry as a whole.  I’d be very interested in hearing what food importers are seeing out there and welcome any additional insight….

Full Article

Picture Source: AFP

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