GLOBAL MANGANESE SNAPSHOT: Indian silico-manganese prices reach seven-year high
Key data from Fastmarkets’ pricing sessions in Europe, India, the United States and China on Friday May 28.
- The markets for seaborne low- and high-grade manganese ore were quiet oer the week to Friday while buyers awaited a new round of offers from miners in the coming week.
- Portside low- and high-grade manganese ore prices were little changed, with buyers showing increased appetite for high-grade ore to improve their productivity and to reduce electricity consumption.
- Spot silico-manganese prices remained stable on firm offers from suppliers amid a strong futures performance.
- The spot ferro-manganese market consolidated its gain from the previous week, with deals reported at the current price level.
- The manganese alloys markets were steady over the week, consolidating a jump of around 10% the week before with suppliers holding their offer prices steady ahead of expected renewed demand from steelmakers in June.
- Suppliers reported relatively low availability after the bout of short covering in the past couple of weeks, meaning that prices should be supported when consumers look for more manganese alloys to meet their third-quarter-smelting schedules from July.
- There were limited import options into Western Europe from Ukraine, where production had been cut in line with domestic and export demand due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and from Malaysia, where OM Holding has reported a temporary halt in production at its Sarawak plant. These should serve to support prices in the near term, sources said.
- The Indian silico-manganese export price moved up over the week, extending a rally through May and hitting a new seven-year peak. Indian sources said that offer prices have increased in line with a general rally in international markets, with firm fundamentals propelling prices higher in Asia, Europe and North America.
- Indian suppliers said that domestic production has been mostly allocated to consumers in the steel sector in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe for the next three months, with new buying inquiries already being agreed for September shipment.
- While there has been no significant effect on manganese alloys demand from Indian steel mills arising from the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, there have been some small losses to domestic manganese alloys production because infected workers will be absent until they test negative, sources said. Consequently, Indian silico-manganese alloys prices should be firm in the near term.
- US manganese alloys prices became firmer this week due to thin available inventories and elevated costs of replacement material.
- Overseas prices remained strong, providing support for manganese alloy prices at present levels.
- While demand slowed down slightly this week, given the limited availability and high cost of replacement, market participants expected that prices would continue to rise in the near term.