China to launch commodity pricing system
China plans to impose a system that will unify its price negotiations for imported commodities such as crude oil, aluminum and copper, The Wall Street Journal reported.
China's companies have battled to keep their import costs under control as the country's voracious demand for raw materials and energy helps push up international prices.
"On imports, we will form price-negotiating bodies for commodities such as oil, alumina and copper ore as soon as possible," said Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo.
But tough talk about unity among China's companies hasn't yet been backed by action, and government support for futures markets that might influence global prices hasn't paid significant dividends, said the paper.
China appeared to stumble this year in trying to get preferential prices from iron-ore suppliers, as local steel producers ended up agreeing to a 19% rise in prices as buyers did outside China. The year before, China had swallowed a 71.5% price increase for iron ore.