The People’s Republic of China recently completed an auction of state-owned reserves of aluminium and other metals. The auction marks the third sell-off this year as Beijing attempts to rein in high prices for the metals.
On Wednesday bidders had an opportunity to bid for 70 thousand metric tons of aluminium, 30 thousand metric tons of copper and 50 thousand metric tons of zinc from the state’s reserves. The auction was held online, and the metals were sold in smaller batches to processors and manufacturers.
It was unclear how exactly the auctions went, but state media said the copper for sale was snapped up before noon. Sales of copper were discounted by up to US$232 per metric ton from market prices.
Altogether China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration has released 420 thousand metric tons of metals over the past two months. The administration said it would continue to take such measures if market conditions warrant it.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the importance of stabilizing the market for such metals will ultimately lead to a state-wide emergency and strategic reserves system.
The Chinese government said the Middle Kingdom “is a big country and must have strength in national reserves and emergency response capabilities that match the status of a big country,” necessitating the measures undertaken over the last several weeks and months.
In addition to aluminium and other metals, Beijing has released millions of metric tons of coal reserves to cool off the coal market and purchased tens of thousands of tons of pork products to prop up domestic pork prices.