Manganese demand recovers to feed recovering steel output

In 2020, the manganese ore market experienced another year of significant oversupply, as demand fell by 8%, falling more than reductions in supply, says Roskill.

Manganese ore production fell in many areas, including South Africa, the largest producing country, due to subsequent lockdown measures aiming to control the pandemic. However, production increased in Australia and Gabon. 

Despite a relatively well supported steel industry in China, manganese alloy demand fell more greatly than steel output in 2020, due to widespread destocking through the alloy supply chain.

In January 2021, the persistent oversupply in the market started to diminish with steel mills’ need to restock on SiMn and FeMn to feed recovering steel output.

Recovering demand (exaggerated by restocking) and higher costs mean ore and alloy prices have a further upside short-term, before the steel market turns to a subdued growth.

While consumption of manganese in batteries dropped significantly in 2020, the long-term growth prospects in this segment remain very strong.

The first quarterly update to Roskill’s Manganese: Outlook to 2030, 16th Edition Report is out now. Along with providing an update to the manganese balance and price forecasts, subscribers will also receive Roskill’s NEW Steel Alloys Monthly Report which provides the latest key industry news and developments across the steel alloys industry.

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