China Said to Suspend Release of Steel Industry PMI Data

China suspended the release of a set of data on the country’s steel industry after the National Bureau of Statistics decided to change how the figures are compiled, a person involved in producing the numbers said.

The June Purchasing Managers’ Index for the steel industry won’t be released, said the person, who asked not to be identified as he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. It isn’t yet clear what changes will be made and in what time frame, or if the data for July would be released next month, the person said.

The monthly steel PMI, released by the statistics bureau together with the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing and Shanghai-based Xiben New Line, has come out no later than the third day of each of the past 12 months. The index, which measures production, sales and inventories in the industry, rose to 46.8 in May from 45.1 in April. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The statistics bureau didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions seeking comment yesterday. Calls to the bureau’s news office went unanswered.

China is the world’s largest producer of steel. It accounted for 49.18 percent of worldwide crude steel production in May, according to the World Steel Association. Japan, the second-largest producer, accounted for 7.06 percent, the data showed.

Other data were omitted from the statistics bureau’s release of China’s official manufacturing PMI on July 1. Five of 12 sub-indexes usually released together with the figures, including numbers for export orders, imports and inventories of finished goods, were missing, without any explanation from the government.

— With assistance by Helen Yuan

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