The government has placed a cap on what domestic steel producers are allowed to pay for iron ore imported from Brazil and Australia in what is being seen as an attempt to influence spot prices for the commodity, the Financial Times reported. Imports from Australia cannot exceed US$54 a tonne, including shipping costs, while the Brazil limit is US$68 a tonne. The development also expresses Beijing’s frustration at being left out of the ongoing iron ore contract price negotiations taking place between the world’s largest miners and steel producers. China is the largest importer of the commodity and was unhappy when the miners secured a price increase of 71.5% last year. An iron ore price increase of 10-20% is expected this year.