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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Iron ore trade platform will improve price transparency

By Du Juan  (China Daily)

09:01, January 17, 2012

Workers unload imported iron ore at Qingdao port, Shandong province. China launched a physical iron ore spot trading platform on Monday. (Photo from China Daily)

BEIJING - China launched its first iron ore spot trading platform on Monday, a move meant to help the nation - the world's largest user and importer of the commodity - gain more influence in global pricing.

The China Beijing International Mining Exchange (CBMX) launched the online platform together with the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) and the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters.

"The iron ore market should be determined by and reflect real supply and demand. However, monopoly practices and price manipulation have exerted a big impact on prices" and hurt many Chinese companies, said Wang Xiaoqi, vice-chairman of CISA.

China accounts for 60 percent of the global iron ore trading market. The nation's iron ore sources increased from 48 countries in 2010 to 67 in 2011, and there was a marked expansion in physical transactions.

However, the widely used Platts iron ore index is regarded with some skepticism as to its transparency and fairness by steel companies and iron ore traders from China, Japan, South Korea and Europe, according to Wang.

"It is very important to build a public platform in China to improve the development of the industry," he said.

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