China’s top economic planner is investigating whether speculation has distorted commodity futures prices, due to concerns that the recent rally will drive inflation higher, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The National Development & Reform Commission this month questioned futures brokers on whether distortion had occurred, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The agency is worried over the potential impact on producer and consumer prices, they said.

China tightened rules and raised fees on commodities trading last spring, as it sought to clamp down on a speculative frenzy that spurred a rapid run-up in prices and unprecedented volumes. Steel and iron ore futures have continued to rise on government stimulus, capacity cuts and a steadying in the economy of the world’s biggest metals consumer.

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