China will unveil its first iron ore trade platform Rizhao International Iron Ore Trade Center on May 25 in Shandong Province, which signals that the establishment of the country's iron ore price index is under way, Bai Wenhui, executive of Shandong Huaxin Trade Co. Ltd., one major shareholder of the trade center, told Xinhua Friday.
Jointly invested in by five local private companies pursuing bulk commodity transaction in Shandong Province, the center mainly provides electronic commerce services for iron ore suppliers and stee lmakers. Its registered capital totals 20 million yuan (2.93 million U.S. dollars).
The trade center offers services including electronic transaction, information exchange, quality inspection, storage, transportation, insurance, and settlement for the two parties in iron ore trading, according to Wang Lei, head of the preparation team for this program.
"As the biggest iron ore importer, China has not set an iron ore price index to date. The iron ore trade center will promote orderly iron ore imports and standardize activities of trading parties, and gradually facilitate China to launch its own iron ore price index in the future," said Bai.
Data from China Customs shows that the country imported 443.7 million tonnes of iron ore in 2008, half of the world's overall iron ore exports volume over the year, and the imports in January-April period in 2009 hit 188 million tonnes.