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June 5, 2018

Manganese prices stay firm on production cut at world’s largest producer

SHANGHAI, Jun 1 (SMM) – Manganese prices stayed firm in May as Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese, the biggest manganese producer in the world, cut production by 25% from the middle of May, SMM believed. Purchasing prices in tenders by steel mills and export prices also remained firm.

As of Friday June 1, SMM assessed manganese in major Chinese markets at 13,100-13,200 yuan/mt, up 1,150 yuan/mt from April 27. Manganese exports are assessed at $2,130-2,160/mt fob, up $175/mt.

Suppliers made firm offers in the June manganese tenders by steel mills and purchasing prices rose across the board. This buoyed the manganese market and encouraged some buyers to stockpile despite high prices.

Compared to the May tender, Nanjing Steel settled its June purchasing price of manganese nodules in a tender at 14,500-14,900 yuan/mt, up 1,420-1,450 yuan/mt. Hebei Steel settled its June purchasing price of manganese ingots in a tender at 14,680 yuan/mt, up 1,680 yuan/mt. Maanshan Steel settled its June purchasing price of manganese flakes in a tender at 14,000 yuan/mt, up 1,600 yuan/mt. Prices include tax and transport, and payments will be made in acceptance. Xiangtan Steel settled its June purchasing price of manganese nodules in a tender at 14,600 yuan/mt, up 1,300 yuan/mt.

Manganese exports saw brisk orders and prices picked up in May. Many manganese producers told SMM that most of the cargoes with high traded prices were delivered to ports. As May ended, resources with relatively low prices were barely seen in the market as exporters had made significant purchases to meet orders. Some cargo holders held back from selling to support their offers. Currently, exporters have to sharply raise their offers on high purchasing costs while the export market continues to see much enthusiasm for purchases. Export prices are approaching the $2,200/mt fob level.

Some market participants expect manganese prices to fall given market speculation that Tianyuan Manganese will resume full production at the end of June, SMM learned. Some market participants remain bullish on manganese prices in June as high purchasing prices across tenders bolstered offers in the spot market, SMM learned.

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