A South African producer of manganese ore and alloys Assmang declared the production of medium-carbon ferromanganese alloys to be subject to force Majeure and to affect the long-term contract execution of the company.
The alloy contract signed by the company at its Cato Ridge alloy plant in South Africa will be transferred to Assmang Manganese for execution.
According to the company, force Majeure affects customers in the United States and European markets and may affect alloy prices in these regions.
With the surge in Covid-19 cases in South Africa in recent weeks, the country has prioritized the supply of oxygen to hospitals, leading to a sharp decline in Assmang oxygen supply.
During the decarbonization process of oxygen for medium ferromanganese production, the tight oxygen supply prompted the company to close the medium ferromanganese production furnace at the Cato Ridge alloy plant.
Annual output of ferromanganese in Cato Ridge alloy plant is 60,000 tons. Argus assessed the U.S. medium-sized ferromanganese (Mn 80pc C 1-2pc) at $0.87-0.93/lb on January 7, while some market participants expected to reach $1.20/lb in the coming months.
The company is not sure when to resume normal production. Assmang other factory production was not affected.
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