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Thursday, December 22, 2011

China warns of risks of buying Iranian iron ore

Thursday, 22 Dec 2011

Reuters reported that China warned about the risks of importing Iranian iron ore, the second major commodity from the sanctions-hit Islamic Republic under scrutiny as the two also tussle over oil payment terms.

The warning from the Commerce Ministry to domestic companies, which focused on substandard quality and on delivery problems, follows crude imports spat that has seen China halve its Iranian oil shipments for January.

An iron ore analyst in Beijing who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the matter said "I would consider this very similar to the crude oil import limitation by Zhuhai Zhenrong."

The analyst said "First, the timing is perfect, just on the heels of oil import payment concerns a few days ago by Zhuhai Zhenrong. And secondly, China also used commercial risks as the main reason."

China's top refiner Sinopec, both directly and through state Chinese state trading company Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp has cut crude imports from Iran by over half in January.

The ministry said in a statement that "We have received lots of complaints from domestic companies about fraud regarding iron ore imports."

The ministry added that Iranian companies have severely damaged Chinese companies' interests by using substandard materials, refusing to deliver materials or delivering less than what was originally agreed to.

(Sourced from Reuters)

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