Spot prices for European manganese flake have fallen to a four-year low of $2,350 to $2,400 per metric ton (MT), down from $2,450 to $2,500 a month ago, according to data from Metal-Pages. The decline is partly due to lower offer prices from dealers in China.
“The cycle is predictable; Chinese dealers return from holiday, get excited, push up prices, prompting more production until there is too much supply, which then forces a cut in prices, a process that is then repeated,” one dealer told Metal-Pages, referring to China's week-long national holiday, which fell in mid-February.
Meanwhile, spot prices for high-carbon ferromanganese with 78-percent metal content are currently between 820 and 850 euros (US$1,071 to 1,110) per MT, down from 860 to 880 euros ($1,123 to $1,149) on March 7, while silicomanganese prices are holding steady between 890 and 920 euros ($1,162 to $1,201). Silicomanganese is mainly used in construction steels, while most ferromanganese goes into flat steels that are used to make automobiles.
However, prices for industrial metals like manganese could strengthen towards the end of the year, after they come out of their seasonal summer doldrums, according to a new report from industry consultant Commodities Now.“Into the end of 2013, there is the potential for some return to price strength as economic/manufacturing activity often rebounds during this period; late autumn may also coincide with further government policy support,” said analyst Daniel Brebner in a portion of the report quoted by Metal-Pages. Brebner also sees leading commodity consumer China's economic growth rebounding to a rate of 8.5 percent this year, compared to 7.8 percent in 2012. Manganese Market Update (April 11, 2013) from Manganese Investing News