NDRC and China’s Market Regulator Launch Joint Investigation into Qingdao Iron Ore Market

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Two of China’s top economic agencies have launched a joint investigation into the iron ore market in the Shandong province city of Qingdao, amidst rising concerns over price fluctuations.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced that they have recently launched a joint investigation into Qingdao’s iron ore market, focusing on “large-scale price increases despite supply and demand remaining stable overall.”

NDRC and SAMR said that the investigation team would look at changes to iron ore inventories in the city, as well as convene special meetings to remind and warn iron ore traders of the need to release excessively high inventories and restore them to “rational” levels as soon as possible.

Iron ore companies in Qingdao will also be required to provide detailed information on recent changes to iron ore inventories, including the specific times, volumes and prices of purchases and sales, and cooperate with inspections into illegal conduct such as hoarding and price gouging.

Officials said that the next step would be to “expand the vigour of market regulation and firmly and severely punish illegal conduct such as hoarding and price gouging.”