Chinese smelters' buying habits fuel manganese ore stock increase

Rising inventories of manganese ore at Chinese ports, amid soaring import volumes, were being fueled by changes to alloy smelters’ purchasing habits but offset by low stocks at plants, market participants have told Fastmarkets.

Manganese ore stocks in Chinese ports rose by 14.9% on Monday May 13 to 3.8-3.9 million tonnes, because of cargoes arriving during the early-May holiday break for Labor Day and the sluggish demand seen since that time. “Ferro-alloys smelters are being very cautious after the holiday break, and continue to purchase only what they need for immediate operations,” a trader told Fastmarkets. China imported 2.7 million tonnes of manganese ore in March, up by 21.9% from February and up by 42.6% year-on-year. The figure also represented a 32.3% year-on-year increase in China’s first-quarter manganese ore imports to 8.02 million tonnes. Soaring import volumes from Ghana in recent months have also contributed to the stock increase, and were creating competition in the market for manganese alloy raw materials. But a number of sources were warning that port inventories...

Published

Janie Davies

Susan Zou

May 15, 2019

19:04 GMT

London, Shanghai