- High-grade ore prices recovered losses while low-grade
- Miners kept seaborne prices stable as port offers
- Chinese spot and futures silico-manganese prices
- Hebei Steel’s silica-manganese bid price
rose for April
- Manganese alloy prices held in Europe, India and USA
Ore prices on divergent paths
Metal Bulletin’s 44% manganese ore index cif
rose 3 cents to $5.18 per dmtu after dropping
6 cents on April 7.
Metal Bulletin’s 37% manganese
ore index fob Port Elizabeth
dropped 3 cents to $3.88 per
dmtu, equivalent to $4.44 per dmtu on a cif basis.
This is the first time since March 3 that low-grade prices have
failed to rise.
Suppliers in China cut offers for spot manganese ore ports but
overseas miners - some of which are understood to be sold out
for April and May - held seaborne prices steady, according to
"We are seeing an incredible amount of activity; increased
discussions and buying," a manganese ore miner said.
Most sources outside China regarded the market as steady but
acknowledged that the weak alloy market was likely to put
downward pressure on ore prices.
"Prices fell very sharply at the start of the year and then
increased very quickly. It seems like now things are
stabilising," a second miner said.
Chinese alloy prices slide
China’s manganese alloy market has been polarised
amid lengthy negotiations between China’s largest
carbon steel mill and alloy smelters.
The discussions, centred on the gap between the
mill’s monthly silico-manganese purchase price and
spot prices, led to a rise in the monthly purchase price, as
spot and futures prices fell.
Hebei Steel raised its April price for
to 6,800-6,900 yuan ($988-1,002) per tonne
from 5,200 yuan for March.
Spot prices for silico-manganese in warehouse
dropped to 6,600-6,900 yuan per tonne from
6,800-7,000 yuan per tonne previously.
The most traded silico-manganese futures contract on the
Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange ended last week at 5,808 yuan per
tonne, down 16% this month.
A spokesman for Hebei this week appealed for long-term co-operation between smelters and
while smelters weighed up the benefits of selling to
the exchange, which offers better payment conditions and, until
recently, higher prices.
"The futures price further moved down this week; now the
futures price is much lower than spot levels, adding downward
pressure to the spot market," a source at a manganese alloy
Chinese ferro-manganese prices
6,300-6,500 yuan per tonne in warehouse China from 6,600-6,800
US, European alloys remain flat
Manganese alloy prices flatlined in all other regions.
Spot silico-manganese prices held at 65-68 cents per lb in
warehouse Pittsburgh on April 13, according to Metal Bulletin
sister publication AMM’s latest assessment.
"The market was incredibly quiet this week as we head into the
holidays," a supplier source told AMM. "Most people are locked
in for the second quarter at this point and there
wasn’t much spot business; not enough activity to
Spot prices for high-carbon
held steady at $1,380-1,430 per long ton in
warehouse Pittsburgh on April 13, according to
AMM’s latest assessment.
A tight spot market for the material has supported pricing,
market participants indicated.
"There’s not enough material around for suppliers
to feel any pressure to sell lower," a second supplier source
The tightness in the market is likely to continue because the
volatile manganese ore market has made traders hesitant to take
additional long-term positions.
"The volatility of the ore market has the market proceeding
very cautiously at this point," a third supplier source told
AMM. "Unless you are a producer or an agent for a producer, I
don’t see anyone bringing in extra material in
Prices for medium carbon ferro-manganese
held at $1.08-1.14 per lb fob Pittsburgh on April
Indian silico-manganese prices
$1,000-1,100 per tonne fob on April 14.
European silico-manganese prices
€1,000-1,115 ($1,063-1,185) per tonne on a delivered basis
on April 14.
High-carbon ferro-manganese prices
€1,200-1,280 per tonne on a delivered basis in Europe,
also on April 14.