China’s minister of industry and information technology said China wants more influence in negotiating iron ore prices, AP reported. Amidst rising prices and domestic steel mills glutted with iron ore, Li Yizhong called on "the whole industry, all iron and steel producers, not to construct any new projects within three years." The government is shutting down smaller mills and consolidating midsize operations, and would like to delegate the responsibility of negotiating iron ore prices with the three largest suppliers to one industry representative. Rio Tinto currently has an agreement with South Korea and Japan to reduce prices by 33%, but China is holding out for a larger discount. Talks between suppliers and a Beijing-appointed group have been deadlocked since the previous agreements expired on June 30th. China consumes nearly 60% of annual global iron ore production.
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