China to sell more metals from reserves to ensure stable prices

Steel factory in China. Stock Image.

China, the world’s top commodities consumer, pledged to release more base metals from its state reserves after completing a first batch of sales in its latest effort to rein in surging raw material costs.

More sales will be arranged in the near term to ensure market stability, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said in a statement on its website Wednesday.

The first release of metals in over a decade included 20,000 tons of copper, 30,000 tons of zinc and 50,000 tons of aluminum and was concluded via a public auction conducted on Monday. The reserves agency didn’t reveal the prices at which the metals were sold.

Shanghai Metal Exchange Market reported on Monday some of the highest bids accepted, citing information from buyers. They included 67,718 yuan ($10,474) a ton for copper, 18,074 yuan a ton for aluminum and 21,200 yuan a ton for zinc, all of which were below spot market prices.

China is releasing metal from state stockpiles as part of its campaign to restrain prices after factory inflation in May hit its highest level in 13 years. The rally in base metals has since stalled as Beijing’s crackdown has kicked into higher gear, and as China’s economic growth has shown signs of peaking.

The country’s top economic planning body has said the release of reserves in batches is designed to drive prices lower to what it considers a normal range.


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