China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has put fertilizer enterprises that are suspected of price gouging on file for investigation and prosecution, according to a statement from the SAMR on Wednesday.
The move came after the prices of certain fertilizers, like potash, surged amid market hype recently.
As of July 19, China's Potassium Chloride Wholesale Price Index had surged to about 3,647 yuan ($564.6) per ton, up 91.05 percent on a yearly basis and the highest level since 2013, according to media reports.
The government has already taken steps to deal with the price fluctuations. Recently, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) held talks with key fertilizer companies, asking them to operate their business in an orderly manner in line with laws and regulations, and to avoid violations such as spreading rumors about price hikes and price gouging. The companies also promised to suspend fertilizer exports for the time being to ensure domestic supplies.
The SAMR said it would continue to keep a close watch on fertilizer prices and crack down on violations.