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Known as Dazong Net, the platform officially went online on March 1 but it has already facilitated three coking coal transactions since its soft launch at the start of this year, according to an official overseeing it.
Two of the transactions were settled in yuan while the other was settled in US dollars. Australian materials accounted for two of the three trades, while the third was a Russian cargo. The official declined to disclose who the buyers were.
Both domestic and seaborne iron ore can be traded on the platform, but for coking coal, only offers of imported materials are accepted, according to its website. Transactions for steelmaking raw materials can be concluded either in yuan or US dollars.
On the steel side, trades must be settled in yuan and products tradable on the platform are wire rod, coiled rebar and rebar.
The platform will see CNBM and its subsidiaries act as sellers initially to seed the liquidity but it aims to become a third-party platform for others to put up bids and offers, the official told Steel First.
This means the platform will compete directly with Global Ore and the Beijing Iron Ore Trading Center on the trading of iron ore, and with Global Coal, which has a similar service in the works for coking coal.
Global Coal is understood to be looking at launching a physical trading platform for coking coal. Issues regarding specifications and standard contracts have held up the launch for more than two years, sources told Steel First previously.
The Dazong Net official said that the platform differentiates itself from the others by providing trading opportunities for the whole value chain of steel. It would also provide value-added services including warehousing and financing.
She declined to give a target trading volume for this year but disclosed that the platform had plans to expand into other bulk commodities in the future.
China National Building Materials & Equipment Import & Export Corp (CNBM) has launched a physical trading platform for iron ore, coking coal and steel products.