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Extra 500 license plates for April auction

SHANGHAI municipal government said today it will offer an extra 500 car license plates for auction this month. But industry analysts predict the higher quota would do little help to prevent the price from rising amid heated demand.

A total of 8,500 car license plates will be put under the hammer for this month's auction on April 17, the highest number since September last year.

Prices for a car license in Shanghai has been rising for six consecutive months. In March, the average price went up to 39,882 yuan (US$5,848) despite fewer bidders.

Chen Bing from a Nissan dealer said the price may rise to more than 40,000 yuan this month with more bidders expected.

"It is now getting more expensive for individual auto buyers to register their car in nearby cities, previously an alternative when car plate prices in Shanghai were too high," said Chen.

"Some companies also increased their vehicle purchases before the World Expo Shanghai 2010 opens, creating more demand this month," he added.

On the second-hand plate market, the average price surpasses 43,000 yuan. The price used to be 2,000 yuan or 3,000 yuan higher than the auction price.

Car plate costs in nearby Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces also rose to 8,000 yuan.


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