China extends zinc reserves sales, copper and aluminium auctions complete
By Min Zhang and Shivani Singh
BEIJING, July 29 (Reuters) - China will extend the bidding hours for zinc reserves sales that were affected by an earlier system breakdown, a customer service representative of the online auction platform said.
The world's top metals consumer released a total of 170,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals from state reserves to fabricators on Thursday, the second reserves sales within a month.
However, the online bidding platform for 30,000 tonnes of copper and 50,000 tonnes of zinc, operated by China Minmetals Corp, had a temporary breakdown after auctions started at 9 a.m. Beijing time (0100 GMT), a customer service representative of the platform told Reuters.
The reason for the breakdown was unclear.
The copper auctions affected by the system crash were reopened at 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) and were completed "pretty fast", said the representative.
Around 20 lots of zinc reserves, or about 3,000 tonnes of the metal, will be re-auctioned from 6:30 p.m. till 9 p.m. (1030-1300 GMT) on Thursday.
A contact from a Jiangxi-based zinc manufacturer that participated in the auction said they had won a bid with transaction prices at less than 22,000 yuan ($3,407) per tonne.
"Time was so tight," said the contact, who refused to be named, adding that results were "not ideal" as prices were a bit high.
The most-traded zinc contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SZNcv1 closed up 0.2% at 22,360 yuan per tonne.
Public bidding for 90,000 tonnes of aluminium reserves on the platform run by state-backed Norinco had been completed in the morning session, according to another customer service representative.
China's National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said it would continue to release metals from its reserves in near term based on market demand, supply and price trends.
($1 = 6.4575 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Min Zhang, Shivani Singh and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Steve Orlofsky)
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