SHANGHAI, Mar. 17 (SMM) –
Prices of imported manganese ore at Chinese ports have lost RMB 2.0-3.0/mtu since after the Chinese New Year holiday. Manganese alloy producers were little interested in building up stocks as manganese alloy market is sluggish and as stocks on hand were sufficient. Those who did increase purchases pushed for lower input costs. Mainstream offers were RMB 37-37.3/mtu for Australian manganese ore (Mn46%, lump), RMB 32.5/mtu for South African manganese ore (Mn38%, lump), and RMB 35/mtu for Brazilian and Gabonese manganese ore (Mn44-45%, lump).
Manganese ore inventories at ports totaled 3.04 million mt last Friday, up 114,000 mt from a week ago. Stocks were 155,000 mt at Lianyungang port, 1.63 million mt at Tianjin port, 1.15 million mt at Qinzhou port, 3,000 mt at Zhanjiang port, 55,800 mt at Beihai port, and 50,000 mt at Fangchenggang port.
SMM expects manganese ore prices at ports to come to stabilize this week on cost support.
Silicomanganese Alloy Market:
Trading activity in silicomanganese alloy market was thin last week. Operating rates have fallen to as low as 15%-30% in south China, where prices are well below production costs. This cut into availability, allowing suppliers to hold back goods at low prices. Operating rates are also low in north China, but inventories in spot markets remain high, offering no support to prices. Chances are small that silicomanganese alloy prices will continue to drop sharply now that steel prices have shown signs of stopping falling.