Beijing will require an import license system for iron ore on March 1, in an effort to curb and monitor the explosive demand for raw material imports, the Ministry of Commerce said. China became the world's biggest iron ore importer last year, purchasing 41% more ore than the previous year to feed its fast-growing steel industry. Industry officials say independent iron ore traders, who have profited from a lucrative spot market, may find it harder to acquire licenses, while smaller steel mills may have to get their supplies indirectly from larger importers.
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