Forging an index

Iron ore and steel prices have sunk to 20-month lows and it is a buyers' market once again. The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) is trying to make the most of the price trend, rallying the nation's largest steel producers to reject the use of an iron ore price index proposed by BHP Billiton of Australia, one of the largest suppliers to China's booming steel industry.

Market practitioners had pinned their hopes on the adoption of such an index, which would have paved the way for the

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