manganese ore imports increased significantly last month as
traders actively imported the raw material after prices climbed
at the beginning of the year.
Manganese ore and concentrate
imports totaled 1.39 million tonnes in March, up 40.2 percent
from the same month last year and 49.4 percent ahead of
February, Chinese customs data showed.
"The cargoes that arrived in
March were booked in late January and February. Prices at that
time were high, so traders bought actively," an importer from
Shenzhen told AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin. Some February cargoes were delayed until March
because of the Chinese New Year holiday, he added.
Manganese ore prices rose in the
second half of January and February on tight availability of
lump ore in the spot market. Metal Bulletins
index of 38-percent manganese ore f.o.b. Port Elizabeth, South
Africa, increased nearly 5 percent from mid-January to $4.46
per metric ton unit (mtu) on March 1, while the index for
44-percent manganese ore c.i.f. Shanghai rose 3 percent to
$5.69 per mtu.
"I think imports in April will
drop as Chinese spot prices have declined after so many cargoes
arrived. Overseas miners offers are still holding," a
Shanghai analyst said.
South Africa was the biggest
supplier in March, shipping 484,462 tonnes to China, 146.4
percent higher than in March 2012 and up 140 percent from the
Australia was the second-biggest supplier at 411,082 tonnes,
22.8 percent higher than a year ago and up 5.9 percent from