FOCUS: Sources caution against potential supply misjudgment amid rising ‘invisible manganese ore stocks’

For anyone purely judging manganese ore supply in China by looking at port stocks, he or she could misread the market supply picture due to rising “invisible stocks” in the past one to two months, sources told Fastmarkets.

Typically, ore stocks are either stored at ports or held by producers at their warehouses or local storage sites. While port stocks are visible and measurable, the latter can be hard to estimate; they are therefore referred to as “invisible stocks” by some participants in the market.
While producers are reluctant to disclose a precise number for their inventories, sources with whom Fastmarkets spoke gauged a material increase in those “invisible stocks” after producers - particularly those in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region - began stockpiling inventories as a result of production disruptions and rising storage fees at the Port of Tianjin, China’s largest manganese ore storage port.
Why are ‘invisible stocks’ rising?

Manganese alloy producers in China used to hold sufficient stocks to sustain two to three weeks of normal operations, accounting for their usual production pattern and demand from customers. But this is no longer the case since production...

Published

Jon Stibbs

Siyi Liu

October 28, 2021

04:17 GMT

London, Shanghai