FOCUS: Why is the seaborne manganese ore price surging while chrome ore rise lags?

The lockdown in South Africa has sparked a sharp rise in seaborne manganese ore prices in China, whereas the chrome ore market has lagged behind due to different end uses, slower portside price movements and high stocks.

South Africa has been under a nationwide lockdown since Thursday March 26, implemented to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The country’s metals and mining operations have been placed on care and maintenance as part of this lockdown.
As a result, the country’s manganese and chrome ore producers are unable to offer in the market until the lockdown is lifted, which is currently planned for April 16.
Over the two pricing sessions since the lockdown began, Fastmarkets’ manganese ore index for 37% Mn, cif Tianjin rose by 62 cents per dry metric tonne unit (dmtu) or 15.7% to $4.58 per dmtu as of Friday April 3. 
The corresponding index for manganese ore, 37% Mn, fob Port Elizabeth grew by 51 cents per dmtu or 15.2% week on week to $3.85 per dmtu on the same day.

Fastmarkets’ index for manganese...

Published

Davide Ghilotti

Jon Stibbs

April 08, 2020

14:41 GMT

London