China Investigates Bulk Commodity Prices and Supplies

China's top economic planner and market regulator have sent teams to investigate recent price and supply trends of bulk commodities, the latest move by Beijing to rein in the sector's sharp rally this year.

The groups, made up of officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Market Regulation, will visit various cities and provinces to find out more about spot trading in commodities and the recent upstream supply and price changes, the NDRC said Wednesday.

The latest step followed a string of attempts by Beijing to squelch fast commodity price increases since the beginning of the year, as economic stimulus measures and a broad resumption in global economic activity from pandemic lows spurred a buying spree in China and elsewhere.

Chinese authorities last week expressed their intention to sell major industrial metals from state stockpiles and on Tuesday detailed plans to release the first batch of national metal reserves, saying it would publicly auction 20,000 metric tons of copper, 30,000 tons of zinc and 50,000 tons of aluminum in early July.

Earlier this week, Chinese regulators launched a probe into the iron ore spot market, threatening strict punishments and public exposure for speculation and hoarding activities.

China's intensifying crackdown has caused commodities prices to retreat from their peak levels, with industry bellwether copper falling to an eight-week low earlier this month.

Write to Yifan Wang at yifan.wang@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-23-21 0210ET
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