Higher volatility in the manganese ore price would represent a return to normality, with the last six months of 2018 uncharacteristically stable.
The difference between the top-end and low-end of each weekly price range in the second half of 2018 was compared to the average price of the six-month period, to represent a percentage of the price spread as a proportion to the average price.
Prices for 37% manganese ore, fob Port Elizabeth, were calculated in a range of only 12.2% from the average of $5.92 per dry metric tonne unit (dmtu) over the second half of the year.
Over 2018 as a whole, the spread of prices was 36.9% of the average price of $6.15 per dmtu. By comparison, the range had been 102.3% against the whole-year price average in 2017, 170.8% in 2016 and 82.9% in 2015.
It seems unlikely that the stability in the second half of 2018 will...