Total silicon manganese output among the 187 Chinese smelters reversed up in January after the decrease during the preceding two months, with the tonnage rising by 37,302 tonnes or 4.2% on month to reach 932,261 tonnes. The sampled smelters host 99% of China's Silicon manganese smelting capacity.
Among the five major production bases, output in North China's Inner Mongolia and Northwest China's Ningxia witnessed significant rises last month, while that in southern China fell by varying degrees, the survey results showed.
Last month, silicon manganese smelters in northern China kept their production high as they were little impacted by local government restrictions on electricity use. Meanwhile, active buying among steelmakers also encouraged silicon manganese smelters to ramp up production.
However, it was learned that more silicon manganese smelters in southern China slowed their production pace in January mainly in reaction to high smelting costs and the deep losses they suffered on sales.
Domestic silicon managnese prices declined again overall last month due to the fast recovery in production, while demand from steel producers fell short of market expectations.
As of January 31, the national price of 6517 silicon manganese was at 6,175 CNY/T ($860/t) including the 13% VAT, lower by another 75CNY/T compared with the end of December.
Domestic prices of manganese ore recovered last month, mainly thanks to positive sentiment in the domestic market with the continuous fall in manganese ore inventories at the ports and hopes for better demand after the Chinese New Year holiday.
For example, the price of South Africa-origin 36.5% grade Mn ore at North China's Tianjin port was assessed at 32.8 CNY/T/dmtu including the 13% VAT as of January 31, higher by 2.5 CNY/T/dmtu on month.
Total manganese ore inventories at China's major ports emptied steadily in January to reach 4.89 million tonnes as of January 26, sliding for the sixth consecutive week or lower by 597,000 tonnes on month, according to a survey. The port stocks total was the lowest since late June 2022.
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