China says to release thousands of tonnes of aluminium, copper and zinc from reserves to cool prices

China will release 50,000 tonnes of aluminium from its national reserves amid efforts to ease commodity price hikes and cost pressure on firms, the official Xinhua news agency reported, adding that20,000 tons of copper and 30,000 tons of zinc will also be auctioned.

Open bidding of the first batch of aluminum will start on July 5 at the website, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said Tuesday in a statement.

Only aluminum processing and manufacturing enterprises will be eligible to bid, and the purchased aluminum shall be used for production promptly. It shall not be resold or hoarded, the administration said according to Xinhua.

China will further release its state reserves of copper, aluminium, and zinc to ensure stable commodity prices, the country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, said earlier this month.

The commission said it would work with other departments to release the nonferrous metal reserves in multiple batches as needed in light of market price changes. 

The amount of zinc being sold is equivalent to 5.7 percent of monthly production in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, based on official data for May.

For copper, the auctioned volume is 2.3 percent of May’s refined output and for aluminium it is 1.5 percent.

Benchmark copper prices hit a record of almost US$10,750 a ton last month, but have since eased to around US$9,260.

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