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Car plate prices drop after ceiling imposed

After last month’s rebound, the price for a Shanghai car plate went down again today as the price ceiling was brought back.

The average winning bid of a Shanghai license plate dropped to 75,717 yuan (US$12,473), down 6,583 yuan, or 9.5 percent, from last month. The lowest winning bid fell 6,800 yuan to 75,500 yuan, according to Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co, the auction organizer.

Featuring a supply of 8,500 car plates, which is 500 less than the usual 9,000, the auction saw the number of participants increase 32 percent to 38,220. An upward limit of 74,900 yuan, as the weighted average of average prices in September, August and July, was imposed on the first-round bidding as last month’s 14 percent price increase triggered the price ceiling mechanism which comes into force only after a more than 3 percent price hike.

Last month’s price hike was the first one in seven months. Since the price ceiling mechanism was introduced as a norm for the auction in April, the average price for a Shanghai car plate came from its record high of more than 90,000 yuan in March all the way down to 73,492 yuan in September. But determined to use the market’s own forces to cool market hype, the municipal government decided to make the mechanism more flexible starting from last month by temporarily removing the upward limit. 

Under the new rules, a price increase of between 3 and 6 percent will lead to a price ceiling being imposed on the following month's bidding, while a spike of more than 6 percent will result in a two-month imposition.

Therefore, the auction next month, as the last one of this year, will surely have an upward limit set on its first-round bids despite today’s downward adjustment.


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