BEIJING, Mar. 5 -- China, the world's biggest metal consumer, will increase state reserves of commodities this year, the Ministry of Finance said today in a statement.
"The government will boost expenditure on increasing the reserves of grain, edible oil, non-ferrous metals, petroleum and other important materials," the Ministry of Finance said in a 2010 budget plan issued today.
Chinese state buying of raw materials for stockpiling in the first half of last year helped lift commodity prices, with copper and zinc doubling in 2009. The government's $586 billion stimulus plan also spurred buying, with imports of copper, soybeans and iron ore gaining to records.
"The news may bolster commodity prices, though more details are needed to gauge the impact on individual commodities," said Judy Zhu, an analyst at Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai. "China may wait until overseas prices are lower than current levels to do so."
The State Reserve Bureau, which manages government stockpiles, bought copper, aluminum, zinc, indium and titanium in 2009, Caijing magazine cited Yu Dongming, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission, as saying in June.
"The appropriations for spending on managing reserves of grains, edible oils and other materials is 107.8 billion yuan ($15.8 billion), down 4.4 percent from last year," the Ministry of Finance said.