Manganese Market Currently Quiet, but Expected to Pick Up

on Sep 21, 2012
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On 20 September 2012, the Resource Investing News website reported on the recently observed downward movement of manganese prices. European manganese flake currently trades at between $2,575 and $2,625 a tonne, a slight decline from $2,600 to $2,650, whereas exports from China are available for between $2,600 and $2,650 a tonne.

Resource Investing News quotes a dealer noting that while the manganese market is quiet at present, prices are likely to go up soon. Investors believe that a potential increase in manganese prices will be due to events in China and an expected significant drop in the country’s production. As noted by Resource Investing News, in the first seven months this year, China’s exports of unwrought manganese dropped by 29 percent relative to the same period in 2011.

!m[](/uploads/story/440/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)Another factor seen as potentially driving up manganese prices are China’s efforts to halt manganese smuggling, with Chinese authorities focusing their efforts on the border with Vietnam, where most of the illegal manganese exports are reported to occur.
Meanwhile, South Africa, the world’s biggest manganese producer for 2011, has been trying to put its manganese production back on track by fixing the transportation problems which have long troubled the country’s manganese industry. Manganese Investing News reports that South Africa recently assembled and loaded its first-ever distributed power train for the metal. In addition, a number of producers are developing new projects in the country.

The new projects are part of South Africa’s efforts to tap its vast manganese resource potential, with the country home to some 75 percent of the world’s identified manganese reserves. And while improving South Africa’s infrastructure will be beneficial for the manganese industry in the country, the additional production is also expected to weigh on manganese prices. Nevertheless, according to Manganese Investing News, South Africa’s miners are trying to profit from an expected long-term increase in steel production from the current annual level of 1.4 billion tons to 2.5 billion tons over the next 15 to 20 years. The rise in steel production is forecast to have a positive impact on the manganese market, with the metal a key element in steelmaking.

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