The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) has given Shanghai-based steel giant Baosteel the go-ahead to negotiate with the major international iron ore suppliers on behalf of Chinese iron and ore producers for 2008 iron ore contracts, the People’s Daily reported. CISA deputy chief Luo Bingsheng said global supply and demand for iron ore would be balanced during the 2007-2008 fiscal year, and that supply growth could outpace demand growth. He added that China would import just 367 million tons of iron ore in 2007, well below the 400 million tons predicted by foreign institutions, and accused overseas suppliers of manipulating output volumes. “The top three iron ore producers have intentionally cut output to push up market prices in preparation for next year’s talks,” Luo said. China’s iron ore imports declined 6% year-on-year in June.