FOCUS: Why manganese ore prices in China lost upward momentum in May despite South Africa lockdown

Seaborne and portside manganese ore prices for low- and high-grade material in China declined in May, despite previous expectations that prices would rise, driven by tightening supplies from South Africa and falling port inventories.

Strict Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa were expected to have a significant impact on deliveries, resulting in fewer deliveries to Chinese ports and putting upward pressure on manganese ore prices.
But Fastmarkets’ manganese ore index, 37% Mn, cif Tianjin, fell to $5.93 per dry metric tonne unit (dmtu) on May 29, down by 68 cents, or 10.3%, from $6.61 per dmtu on May 1, when it had increased by $2.65 per dmtu, or 66.9%, from $3.96 per dmtu on March 20 - just before the nationwide lockdown in South Africa began on March 26.

And Fastmarkets’ manganese ore index, 44% Mn, cif Tianjin, sank to $6.11 per dmtu on May 29, down by 44 cents, or 6.7%, from $6.55 per dmtu on May 1 when it had climbed by $2.28 per dmtu or 53.4% from $4.27 per dmtu on March 20. 
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Published

Amy Lv

June 02, 2020

13:03 GMT

Shanghai