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Car plate auctions expect a price cut

CAR plate prices are expected to fall tomorrow with 6,000 plates to be auctioned, 800 more than last month.

Reported comments by a city transport official that auctions might be canceled in the future have driven the plate price in the second-hand market down from 34,000 yuan (US$4,971) to the current 28,000 yuan, a Website tracking the city's private car plate auction said.

Shanghai is the only city in the mainland to auction vehicle plates - car owners in other cities only pay for registration.

The auctions could be canceled after the transport system was improved but no date had been set yet, Huang Rong, director of Shanghai Urban Construction and Transportation Commission, said on February 26.

Car plate prices also dived from 44,200 yuan to 10,800 yuan in May, 2004 when an official from the Ministry of Commerce claimed the vehicle plate auctions in Shanghai were not legal.

Market insiders expect a similar reaction this time and that prices will drop.
The average price for a car plate in February rose to 33,394 yuan, an increase of 3,995 yuan from a month earlier. There were 16,848 bidders last month, 304 more than the previous month.


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