The year 2016 saw huge rises in chrome and manganese ore prices, with prices peaking towards the end of the year at four and five times higher, respectively, than at the start of the year (see chart
). These were the biggest rises seen of any of the major commodities in 2016.
In both cases, prices were driven higher by short-term panic among, mainly Chinese, buyers amid booming carbon steel and stainless steel markets, low port ore stocks in China, and against a background of savage supply cuts in 2015.
Manganese and chrome alloy prices followed a similar pattern to the order, albeit with less extreme price moves.
Manganese and chrome ore prices have subsequently corrected downwards as supply responded to higher prices. Chinese imports of manganese soared by 96% year on year in the first quarter of 2017, while chrome ore imports rose by 81% year on year, swiftly bringing...