SHANGHAI, Jul. 22 (SMM) –
Trading of manganese ore at ports remained depressed last week and prices continued to drop including non-mainstream manganese ore such as Malaysian ore. Some traders will sell off goods should prices continue to fall.
In the Port of Tianjin, the mainstream traded price for Australian manganese ore (Mn48%, lump) was RMB 43.5-44/mtu; RMB 35-35.5/mtu for South African mixed carbonate manganese ore (Mn38%, lump), and RMB 38/mtu for South African high-iron manganese ore (Mn35-36%, Fe18%). In southern ports, the mainstream quotations for Australian manganese ore (Mn48%, lump) were RMB 43/mtu. Mainstream traded prices were RMB 38-38.5/mtu for South African high-iron manganese ore (Mn35-36%, Fe20%); RMB 35-35.5/mtu for South African mixed carbonate manganese ore (Mn38%, lump), and RMB 40.5/mtu for Australian high-silicon manganese ore (Mn36%, Si20%).
Inventories at ports were 2.45 million mt last week, with 1.35 million mt in the Port of Tianjin, up 50,000 mt on a weekly basis, and 950,000 mt in the Port of Qinzhou, also an increase of 50,000 mt from the previous week. More shipments will arrive at the end of this month, which will weigh manganese ore prices down further.
The average daily crude steel output at members of the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) was 1.69 million mt in early July (1-10, July), down 3.84% from late June (20-30, June). The average daily output across China is estimated at 2.08 million mt, down 4.50%. The average daily output, though down, remained high. China’s crude steel output totaled 389.87 million mt during January-June, a gain of 7.4% YoY. Abundant supply will preclude any substantial uptick in steel prices in the future.
BHP reported 2.25 million mt in manganese ore output in 2Q, up 7% YoY, and 182,000 mt in manganese alloy output, also up 1% YoY, according to its earnings report. This growth in manganese ore output was largely attributable to a 13.7% increase from its Australian mining sites. SMM estimates that BHP may cut its manganese ore quotations to Chinese buyers in September by USD 0.2-0.25/mtu.
A RMB 0-0.5/mtu decline is expected in manganese ore prices at ports in the coming week.