SHANGHAI, May 17 (SMM) – While seaborne supplies continue to expand, prices of manganese ore are expected to hover steadily in the second half of the year as downstream demand from the alloy sector recovers after the impact of capacity cuts since 2014, SMM believes.
China's manganese ore imports are likely to increase 2.5 million mt from 2018, to stand at 25.65 million mt this year, an SMM survey showed.
In the first quarter of 2019, some 5.54 million mt of manganese ore entered China through the Tianjin port, and some 876,000 mt through the Qinzhou port in Guangxi province. These rose 55.8% and 63.6%, respectively, from the same period in 2018.
In the year to May 2019, inventory pressure at ports and thinner profit margins at alloy producers kept prices of manganese ore moderate.
SMM expects consumption of manganese ore in the south to strengthen in the second half of the year, as capacity ramps up across silicon-manganese alloy producers after their recovery in the first quarter.
In the northern market, however, the manganese ore market faces potential supply glut as power supply cuts, maintenance, and accidents across silicon-manganese alloy plants grew uncertainties around demand.