Manganese Market Sees Surge in Prices Amid Supply Disruptions

The manganese market is experiencing a significant price surge, drawing attention from industry stakeholders.

*Jupiter Mines Updates Market Landscape Following Price Boost*

The manganese market is experiencing a significant price surge, drawing attention from industry stakeholders. The recent boost in manganese prices has prompted Jupiter Mines to release a comprehensive update on the current landscape of the manganese market.

Fastmarkets Indices Reflect Rising Prices

According to the cross-commodity price reporter Fastmarkets, manganese prices have shown a marked increase. As of May 28, 2024, the prices for 37% manganese ore content are $6.29 per dry metric tonne units (dmtu) on a cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) basis at the Port of Tianjin in China and $5.43/dmtu on a free on board (FOB) basis at the Port of Elizabeth in South Africa.

This is a substantial rise from the prices on April 30, 2024, which were $4.80/dmtu on a CIF basis and $3.92/dmtu on a FOB basis, as noted in Jupiter Mines’ March quarterly update. The highest previous price recorded was $7.96/dmtu in November 2016.

Supply Disruptions Fuel Price Increase

The significant rise in manganese prices is primarily attributed to recent supply disruptions. Jupiter Mines’ head of marketing, Tracey Cloete, highlighted that the supply interruptions are a result of Cyclone Megan, which severely impacted the Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) operations in northern Australia. South32, the parent company of GEMCO, suspended operations indefinitely in March due to the cyclone.

“We are expecting manganese prices to be higher than the historical average for the coming months,” Cloete stated. “This is mainly due to supply disruptions as a result of Cyclone Megan which impacted the GEMCO operations.”

Inventory Levels and Price Support

The reduction in supply from GEMCO has led to a decline in inventory levels since November 2023. Producers in South Africa had already begun to cut back on export volumes, further drawing down available inventory. This decrease in supply has created a tight market situation.

“Typically, as inventory levels decline, prices are supported because there is less material in China that can be consumed by plants,” Cloete explained.

Opportunities for Industry Players

With manganese prices expected to continue their upward trajectory, industry players have a window of opportunity to fill the gap left by GEMCO’s reduced output. Notable companies poised to benefit from this situation include ConsMin, which operates the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in Western Australia, and OM Holdings, owner of the Bootu Creek manganese mine in the Northern Territory.

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Manganese Market Outlook

Jupiter Mines‘ update indicates a bullish outlook for the manganese market in the near term. The combination of supply disruptions and declining inventory levels is expected to keep prices elevated above historical averages. This presents a promising opportunity for other producers to ramp up their operations and meet the increased demand.

As the market adjusts to these supply changes, industry stakeholders will be closely monitoring the situation. The ability of other producers to step in and mitigate the supply shortfall will be crucial in stabilizing prices and ensuring a steady supply of manganese to the market.

The manganese market is currently experiencing a notable price surge driven by supply disruptions and declining inventory levels. Jupiter Mines’ recent update provides valuable insights into the market dynamics and the potential for continued price increases. Industry players like ConsMin and OM Holdings are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend, offering a potential silver lining amid the challenges posed by the supply constraints. As the market evolves, stakeholders will need to stay vigilant and responsive to the changing landscape to navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead.

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