March 7, 2013 / 2:56 AM / 5 years ago

BHP responds to China claim, says sold large iron ore volumes in spot market

MELBOURNE, March 7 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton said it was committed to a transparent iron ore market, in response to allegations by China that major iron ore miners had manipulated the market to drive an 80 percent jump in prices over the past six months.

BHP, the world’s third-largest iron ore miner, said it had produced iron ore at full capacity between July and December 2012 and sold all of that material.

“We aim to improve transparency by increasing liquidity in the spot market,” BHP said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

“We sell significant volumes on a spot basis, including through widely accessible trading platforms, irrespective of the iron ore price,” it said.

China’s national planning agency said on Wednesday the world’s top three miners and some traders had delayed shipments and held back stocks “to send a fake market signal that there was a supply shortage”.

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