China’s Dec vehicle sales firm; strong outlook for 2021

China’s vehicle sales in December 2020 rose 5.4% year on year to 2.8 million units, sending total sales in 2020 to 25.27 million units, down 1.9% year on year, according to estimates by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which has helped support cold-rolled coil demand and prices.

CRC spot market prices in Shanghai rose 11% month on month in December to an average of Yuan 5,592/mt ($865/mt), Platts data showed.

For 2021, CAAM expects vehicle sales to reach 26.3 million units, up 4% year on year, on the back of a stable macroeconomic recovery and China’s stimulus policy.

China’s Ministry of Commerce published a notice early January to further stimulate vehicle consumption in rural regions. One such example is the sales promotion of new energy vehicles to China’s countryside, which reached 180,000 units in over four months last year.

CAAM reported that profits of the car manufacturing sector increased 7.2% year on year over Jan-November, which was 0.6 percentage points higher than the growth recorded over Jan-Oct.

— Analyst Sylvia Cao