Prices in Singapore fell to about $144 a ton from a high of $153 on Tuesday, the strongest intraday level since end of August. The warning is the latest sign of Beijing stepping up efforts to oversee prices of the steel-making ingredient.
Regulators said they summoned information providers recently and told them not to fabricate price hike information or drive up prices. They also vowed to keep the market stable with more effective measures.
Iron ore has had a roaring start to the year on expectations that monetary easing and infrastructure spending in Asia’s largest economy will boost demand for metals. The rebound already triggered a warning from authorities late last month that they will crack down on speculation.
Still, prices extended gains earlier this week as China delayed the deadline for peak-emissions in the steel sector by five years to 2030, a move viewed as a way of propping up the economy. State media on Tuesday also reiterated “reasonable front loading” in new infrastructure investment.
Iron ore futures in Singapore sank as much as 3% to $143.85 a ton and traded at $144.85 by 10:45 a.m. local time, while Dalian futures tumbled 4%. Steel rebar and hot-rolled coil prices declined in Shanghai.