‘Relationship maintenance’ deals leave manganese ore buyers with unsustainable financing costs

An eagerness to maintain relationships by doing deals with counterparties has left some manganese ore buyers and suppliers saddled with unsustainable financing costs, market participants told Fastmarkets this week.

Market participants who bought high-priced material in February and March are still financing high-priced material that has since devalued and some have reached the end of their tolerance for taking risks in the hope they can reverse their fortunes later, they said.
“We accepted the high-priced cargoes initially to maintain relationships, but nobody is financially capable of [continuing to buy] expensive seaborne cargoes. Those who booked seaborne cargoes in February or March could already be incurring losses of several million [yuan],” a manganese ore buyer said.
Manganese ore prices increased significantly between early January and mid-March 2021 on the back of soaring freight costs, logistical constraints and currency fluctuations that raised costs for South African miners.

But the market has fallen by as much as 12.27% since the middle of March, due to weaker port prices...

Published

Janie Davies

Siyi Liu

April 29, 2021

15:07 GMT

London