Covid-19 sparks sharp contraction in global manganese ore output in April

Global manganese ore production contracted by 22% in April from March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest data from the International Manganese Institute (IMnI).

Global supply was 1.2 million tonnes in April, with output from all producing countries fallowing month on month.

The biggest regional fall in production was from Africa and the Middle East, which dropped by 24% in April to 679,000 tonnes.

Over the first four months of the year, global production fell by 16% in comparison to the same period last year, despite increases in supply from Gabon, South Africa and Australia, the IMnI reported.

Exports of manganese ore from South Africa - the largest producer of 37% ore - dried up after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 27.

Production in South Africa has since resumed albeit with some restrictions; this increased supply has weakened support for prices, which had increased earlier during the lockdown.

Fastmarkets’ manganese ore index, 37% Mn, cif Tianjin fell by 6.2% to $5.93 per dry metric tonne unit (dmtu) on May 29 from $6.32 per dmtu on May 22.

Chinese imports of manganese ore fell 16% month on month in April, according to the latest official but unconfirmed data seen by Fastmarkets.

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