China’s state reserves administration said on Friday it would sell off a total 150,000 tonnes of its strategic metal stockpiles via public bidding on Sept. 1, in its third round of auctions aimed at cooling high prices.
The National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said in three separate notices it would auction 30,000 tonnes of copper, 50,000 tonnes of zinc and 70,000 tonnes of aluminium.
The rare series of state reserve sales has so far seen a total of 270,000 tonnes of the three metals released. The last auction on July 29 saw the administration sell 170,000 tonnes of metal, including 90,000 tonnes of aluminium.
Some Chinese metal consultancies had said last week the reserves administration – which had been expected to hold sales every month for the rest of this year – would not release metals in August, partly due to a rise in coronavirus infections in China.
The administration, however, insisted it would keep releasing reserves because metal prices were still high and causing problems for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The bidding is only open to metal processors and manufacturers.
Shanghai copper prices are trading around 68,760 yuan ($10,604) per tonne, some 12.5% below the record 78,560 yuan they hit in May, while zinc is down around 5.6% from its May high.
Shanghai aluminium, however, hit a 13-year high on Friday on concerns of tight supply.