Market sources have been puzzled by the gradual upward trend in China’s steel prices after the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) broke out in a big way after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Société le Nickel (SLN) resumed operations and ore shipments at its Thio mine in New Caledonia on March 9, a spokesperson for French parent company Eramet confirmed to Fastmarkets on the same day.

Europe’s high-carbon ferro-chrome market fell in the week ended Friday March 6 after concern over the economic outlook hit buying appetite.

Seaborne prices of both high- and low-grade manganese ore in China moved lower for the second consecutive week in the week ended March 6 due to persistently weakening sentiment.

Vanadium prices continued to trade under pressure while fears of a global economic slowdown -amid the coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak - weighed on consumers’ demand, sources said.