SHANGHAI, Dec 5 (SMM) – SMM expects prices of manganese, a raw material for producing steel, to remain weak in December amid subdued demand from domestic and overseas consumers.
Spot prices of electrolytic manganese in China’s main production areas extended their slide in November, with the average prices standing at 10,964 yuan/mt ex-work with tax included, down 325 yuan/mt from the average prices in October, SMM assessed.
As of December 5, prices of electrolytic manganese in Guangxi province stood at 10,700-10,900 yuan/mt, 100 yuan/mt lower from a week earlier.
In Guangxi, an estimated 350 mt/day of manganese production was affected and cargoes deliveries were disrupted after the area was hit by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake on November 25, but production and shipment from local major mills recovered shortly after the earthquake.
SMM expects production of electrolytic manganese in China to only edge lower in November.
Some domestic steel plants have launched December’s tenders for the procurement of manganese products, including manganese flake, ingot and briquette, with purchasing prices 200-500 yuan/mt lower from the previous month, SMM survey found.
South Korean steelmaker Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) reduced the purchasing volumes of electrolytic manganese by 1,330 mt on the month to 3,515 mt in its latest tender for January 2020. Purchasing prices have not been determined.
Exporters in China told SMM that they negotiated prices with overseas consumers at low prices around $1,500/mt in early December. Weaker prices together with smaller purchasing volumes may put additional pressure for sealing a deal.
Most market participants remained pessimistic about near-term export prices of manganese.