Chinese regulators to inspect iron ore market, vow to crackdown on hoarding and speculation
Published: Feb 11, 2022 06:55 PM
iron ore Photo:VCG


Responding to the rising price of iron ore, China's top economic planner and market regulator, said on Friday they will work together to inspect domestic commodity exchanges and major ports, and vowed to crack down on hoarding and speculation of iron ore. 

The survey group formed by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) will specifically examine the stockpile, futures and spot trading of iron ore, and strictly hit fabrication of iron ore price hikes, hoarding and speculation, said a statement by the NDRC on Friday. 

The move sent benchmark iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange falling to 805 yuan ($126.61) per ton on Friday afternoon, erasing the gains obtained Friday morning. 

Iron ore futures in China surged from late November 2021 and jumped 23 percent in January. On February 8, the futures were the highest since August 2021. 

China Iron and Steel Association said on Friday some mine companies in recent days released and hyped false information, disturbing market order and harming the interests of market entities. 

"The association strongly condemns such behavior. Any practice or participant ignoring the law of market or interfering with normal market operations illegally shall be corrected and must pay the price," said the association.

The newly-announced inspection comes after official statements about regulations related to iron ore. 

On Wednesday, the NDRC and SAMR summoned Chinese iron ore market information providers, urging them to publish accurate market information amid the volatility in iron ore prices.

Regulators told iron ore data platforms to provide references and ensure the accuracy of market information, instead of spreading false information about prices or price speculation, the NDRC said in a post on its WeChat account on Wednesday.

While China is seeking to reduce its import dependency from Australia after the two countries reached a trade standstill, the China Iron and Steel Association introduced a "cornerstone plan" in January, specifying the supply targets of steel scrap, domestic iron ore and imported iron ore amounts by 2025, 2030 and 2035. 

The "cornerstone plan" aims to strengthen the independence of China's steel supply chain and is expected to enhance iron ore prospecting and support for key mines. 

Global Times