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May 23, 2010

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Car plate prices continue to rise

CAR plates prices in Shanghai continued to rise this month.

The average price for a car license was 42,262 yuan (US$6,187), up 625 yuan from April, the Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co said. The lowest price was up 900 yuan to 41,900 yuan. Both prices have been rising for eight months and are at their highest since January 2008.

A total of 8,500 car plates were up for auction this month, the same number as last month but more than February's 7,500.

The number of bidders dropped for a fifth month to 16,324, or 989 fewer than April.

Toyota dealer Huang Jia said that although the 40,000 yuan mark was widely considered too expensive and had scared some potential buyers away, demand was still outstripping supply.

"Nearly 50 percent of potential buyers lost their bids last month. It is also getting more difficult to have cars registered in nearby cities, forcing some bidders to join in the battle."

The government has been increasing the quota in a bid to prevent prices rising too rapidly.

But some industry insiders estimate that prices will continue to be high in the short term amid strong auto sales.


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