This Morning in Metals: China auto sales fall 3.1% year over year in May

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This morning in metals news: China auto sales cooled in May, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers; production of crude oil and natural gas in New Mexico reached a record high in March; and, lastly, labor productivity fell in 13 of 29 service-providing industries in the U.S. last year.

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China auto sales drop

cars on the road in Shanghai, China

eyetronic/Adobe Stock

China auto sales dropped in May on a year-over-year basis for the first time since March 2020.

Auto sales in China fell by 3.1% year over year in May 2021, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported this month.

Furthermore, May sales declined by 5.5% month over month. May sales reached 2.13 million vehicles. For the January-May period, sales reached 10.88 million vehicles, up 36.6% year over year.

Crude oil, natural gas production up in New Mexico

Crude oil and natural gas production reached a record high in March in New Mexico, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

“New Mexico had record-high production of crude oil and natural gas in March 2021, averaging 1.16 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil and 6.19 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas,” the EIA said. “The March 2021 increases in crude oil and natural gas production were the largest monthly increases on record for New Mexico. The increased production occurred after a month when production fell in response to the extreme winter weather in the U.S. South Central region.”

The increases came as a result of new wells coming online and existing wells coming back online after February’s cold snap, the EIA added.

Productivity down in 13 of 29 industries

Labor productivity fell in 13 of 29 service-providing industries in 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

Meanwhile, in 2019, productivity fell in 14 of 29 industries.

“There were 3 industries where productivity fell more than 38 percent: Air transportation (-57.0 percent), travel arrangement and reservation services (-44.7 percent), and amusement parks and arcades (-38.5 percent),” the BLS reported. “In all 3 of those industries, output fell more than 55 percent.”

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