Acquisition spending by Chinese firms on overseas commodity companies and resources is down 30% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2010, Bloomberg reported. The decline comes even as foreign firms accelerate takeovers of oil, copper and other key resources. Chinese companies spent US$14.2 billion on acquisitions so far in 2011, compared to a total commodity takeover value of US$176 billion worldwide, the highest since 2007. US companies are the largest buyers at present. Guan Anping, a professor at Renmin University and former trade official said that the turmoil in North Africa and its effect on Chinese investments there has made Chinese executives more cautious. He also said strict regulatory control over Chinese acquisitions in the US and other countries have caused Chinese firms to “shift targets.” After successful Chinese takeovers of Repsol’s Brazilian unit and the Ugandan fields owned by Tullow Oil (TLW.LON), a recent attempt by China Minmetals Resources (1208.HK) to buy copper miner Equinox Resources was stymied by a counteroffer from Canada’s Barrick Gold (ABX.NYSE, ABX.TSE). Rises in global commodity prices have driven up valuations of mining and energy companies around the world; Standard & Poors GSCI Total Return Index of 24 commodities has outperformed bonds and stocks every month since December.