The world's first on-line trade of steel has been conducted on a mainland Web site, between a Swiss firm and a mainland company.
Duferco Steel of Switzerland purchased US$1 million in prime high-tensile reinforcement bars from Shougang Concord using the iSteelAsia.com trading portal.
The first business-to-business e-commerce transaction on a Greater China industry Web site covered specifying, sourcing, negotiation and purchasing on-line.
Founded in November last year, iSteel.com offers a neutral marketplace for buyers and sellers and wants to expand use of its site for Asian steel trading.
It claims the site will lower transaction costs by linking service providers, and broadening the client base, which will improve competition and marketing, and speed up transactions.
According to iSteel.com, the site has 800 registered members. Its services include free freight insurance and vetting trading partners.