08-02 BEIJING (Xinhua) - The China Iron and Steel Association said Tuesday that it will start a trail run of its iron ore index some time in August.
Zhang Changfu, vice chairman of the association, said in a statement on the association's website that the index will be officially launched in October, and data will be released on a weekly basis.
The index will consist of two sub-indices pertaining to domestic iron ore prices and import prices respectively, he said.
Soaring iron ore prices have been blamed for squeezing profits of China's steel producers.
The steel industry maintained relatively fast growth in the first half of the year, with steel output reaching 350 million tons, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, the statement said.
However, the industry's sales profit ratio was just 3.14 percent in the first half, because of soaring import prices for iron ore.
Prices of imported iron ore averaged $160.89 per ton in the first half of this year, hitting a record high, the statement said. The average price was up 42.41 percent year-on-year, according to the statement.
In the first six months, China's steel producers imported 334.25 million tons of iron ore. The price increase has added 104.11 billion yuan ($16.02 billion) in cost, the statement said.