China to crack down on iron ore price gouging as market rallies on post-pandemic hopes
China’s top economic planner will tighten supervision of iron ore pricing after the steelmaking ingredient’s surge in recent months.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Sunday it would crack down on illegal activities including spreading false information, hoarding and price gouging to keep the iron ore market stable.
Some information providers were summoned by the NDRC over publication of old or false news that confused the public and had an adverse impact on the market, according to the statement. The companies were told to carefully verify their data and ensure they did not drive-up prices.
The commodity has rallied hard in recent months fueled by optimism over a potential demand surge as China’s economy recovers from pandemic disruptions. Iron ore futures in Singapore closed on Friday at US$125.50 a tone, the highest since June.
Authorities in China are also seeking to bolster their influence over iron ore pricing in the longer term by consolidating purchases on behalf of about 20 of the country’s biggest steelmakers.
A new state-owned company called China Mineral Resources Group was poised to become the world’s biggest buyer of the material as soon as this year, people familiar with the situation said last month.