African ore, alloy supply risk fears grow amid spread of coronavirus

Ores and alloys markets participants, while still largely occupied with the effects of a slump in demand from China, are becoming nervous about the impact of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on metal and alloy-producing countries.

The outbreak of the virus, which started in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, has led to lower Chinese demand, rising stocks in Chinese ports and lower prices for products including chrome and manganese.
By contrast, European metal and alloy market participants reported strong demand in February due to consumers stocking up on material amid the uncertainty, but the impact of the outbreak has started to weigh on prices more recently.
China has started to recover from the outbreak and business in the country has been resuming. Market sources in China hope demand for both ore and alloy in the country will pick up in response to recent stimulus measures.
But the virus continues to rage in Europe and has started to spread in Africa, raising concerns about the potential impact of mass contagion on South Africa’s mining industry.

No supply disruptions have been reported so far and cases remain...

Published

Janie Davies

Jon Stibbs

Amy Lv

March 23, 2020

11:48 GMT

London