China manganese: Spot export offers steady after recent rise


Spot export offers of Chinese electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) on an FOB basis were steady Friday following last week's gains, but sources said export offers might rise further as supply continued to tighten.

Prices rose last week on tightening supply caused by cutbacks and production halts, while demand generally held steady, market sources said.

Platts kept the 99.7% manganese export price steady at $1,420-$1,470/mt FOB China Friday, unchanged from last week as bids and offers were heard within the range.

A northwest China-based producer was offering at $1,420/mt FOB, up $20/mt from two weeks ago, while a south China-based producer keep offers steady at $1,470-$1,480/mt FOB and a south China-based trader heard offers at $1,410/mt FOB, up $10/mt week on week.

"There was a slight gain in offers due to tighter supply on production cuts," the northwestern Chinese producer said. "Current stocks are slowly depleting amid fairly steady demand."

The producer said his domestic offers were at Yuan 9,050/mt ($1,403/mt) ex-works, up from Yuan 9,000/mt two weeks ago.

The southern Chinese producer agreed market conditions were generally unchanged from last week though supply had continued to tighten. He said his domestic offers were steady at Yuan 9,100-9,200/mt ex-works.

Traders from South Korea and Japan were also hearing Chinese EMM offers at $1,400/mt.

A South Korean trader said he had received an offer at $1,430/mt CIF South Korea, up $10-$20/mt week on week and another South Korean heard offers at an average of $1,450/mt CIF South Korea, while a Japanese trader heard offers at $1,460/mt CIF Japan, up $20-$30/mt week on week.

"The offer I received this week at $1,430/mt CIF South Korea was higher than the last South Korean steel mill buy tender at $1,400/mt CIF a few weeks ago," the first South Korean trader said. Freight from China to South Korea and Japan was $10-$20/mt.

A northwest China-based industry, who heard EMM offers above $1,400/mt FOB, said several Chinese nickel producers had collectively planned to cut output in an attempt to lift weak nickel prices.

China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said on its website a week ago that eight major Chinese nickel producers -- including Jien Nickel and Jinchuan Group -- had agreed not to take part in cut-throat price competition.

Instead, they plan to cut an aggregate 15,000 mt of nickel output in December and to reduce aggregate output in 2016 by at least 20% from this year. No further details were provided.

December nickel futures closed at Yuan 68,500/mt on the Shanghai Futures Exchange Friday, compared with Yuan 68,150/mt last Friday.

Nickel stocks in SHFE warehouses stood at 42,105 mt Friday, up 7.6% week on week.

On Thursday, the London Metal Exchange official cash price for nickel was $8,525-$8,530/mt, compared with $8,750-$8,760/mt last Friday.

Both EMM and nickel are used for stainless steel.

Source from : P