SHANGHAI, Apr. 2 (SMM) --
Reuters reported that top global miner BHP Billiton is freezing all its projects in Gabon, dashing government hopes for sizeable investments in manganese and iron ore production. A spokesman for BHP could not immediately be reached for comment.
On April 1st, Hebei Iron & Steel Group lowered its bid price for silicomangan alloy by RMB 150/mt from March. Manganese ore traders and producers are plagued by rising manganese ore CIF prices and falling silicomangan alloy prices. Looking on the bright side, operating rates at silicomangan alloy producers may increase with falling power tariff in south China with the onset of rainy season following the Chinese Qingming holiday, which may help bolster demand for manganese ore. Bearish sentiment is dominating manganese ore markets at the moment, though.
Trading volumes at China’s southern and north ports were sparse. Cargo holders’ pessimism over future prices is growing, increasing possibility of sell-off at low prices.
Fundamentals in China’s manganese ore markets are bearish. On the other hand, the government may introduce favorable policies to save producers out of trouble.