Profits at China’s big industrial firms collapsed in the first quarter of the year, during the country’s unprecedented coronavirus lockdown, reported the South China Morning Post.
Industrial firms saw profits fell by 36.7% over the first three months, led by a massive 187.9% collapse in the profitability of firms in the oil and gas industries. These firms saw a RMB 28.5 billion ($4 billion) profit over the same period of 2019 fall to a RMB 24.7 billion loss.
Big companies in metal products, machinery and equipment sectors saw profits fall by 84.3%. The automotive industry saw a 80.2% profit drop, profits in the chemicals sector were down 56.5%, while ferrous metal processing profits slid by 55.7% over the first quarter.
Among China’s 41 industrial sectors, all but two reported losses: tobacco and food processing. Profits at state-owned industrial enterprises plummeted by 45.5%, while those in the private-sector fell by 29.5%.