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January 24, 2010

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Home » Business » Auto

Auto plate prices hit 2-year top

CAR plate prices in Shanghai rose to a 24-month high in the year's first auction yesterday as surging demand pushed buyers up to ensure successful bids.

The average price of a private car license rose to 38,311 yuan (US$5,617), up from 37,593 yuan a month earlier, according to organizer Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co.

The lowest price also climbed 900 yuan to 37,800 yuan.

It is the fourth consecutive month of price rises.

About 8,000 car plates were put under the hammer, the same amount as last month. But the competition was keener, with the number of bidders increasing 398 to 18,975.

Dealers said the prices were pushed up because many car buyers were eager to get the plate before the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 14.

"Some people have been waiting for a long time for their cars because of the tight supply and they are very determined to get the plates for use during the holiday," said auto trader Zhang Yanzhi.

Industry analysts also said there is market concern about restrictions on cars with plates registered in Shanghai during the World Expo 2010 Shanghai starting in May.

They said this may have also contributed to the heated demand.

Zhang said there was also a new round of upbeat sentiment about car plate prices in Shanghai as the government maintains controls on the quota.

"Vehicle sales have remained robust as the economic stimulus continues this year," he noted.

"This will create a continuously high demand for car plates at least for the first half of this year."


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