China’s top economic planner issues action plan targeting bulk commodities price

China’s top economic planner announced Tuesday the action plan for strengthening price mechanism reform during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), highlighting the need to well responding to the price fluctuations on iron ore, copper, corn and other bulk commodities, as part of the efforts to help to achieve the national strategic goal of “carbon peak, carbon neutral.”

The first of its kind addressing bulk commodities market regulation for next five years, the plan places special emphasis on further strengthening price regulation and market expectation management concerning people’s livelihood ranging from eggs and wheat to cotton and iron ore.

The plan also cites the need for improvement in key commodity forecasting early warning and monitoring system, advancing the floor price policy for rice, wheat, and cotton.

This came in line with the latest effort by Chinese officials to further crack down on what they call excessive speculation in the commodity markets, leading to the sharp losses of industrial commodity on Monday both in China and abroad.

The historical rise in commodity prices, posed by combined factors, including international transmission factors and excessive speculation, has severely disrupted the normal production and sales cycle and led to prices spiking across a number of commodity areas.

As the world’s factory floor and largest consumer of raw materials, the intensified top-down campaign was to rein in runaway prices that have already exerted pressure on factories and businesses and further threaten to derail China’s hard-fought economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The action plan released on Tuesday also raised new reform on energy management including the transmission and distribution of electricity and the establishment of a pricing mechanism for new energy such as wind power and photovoltaic power.

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