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Manganese ore to China firm at $6.50-$7.00/dmtu but slowdown expected

London — Semi-carbonated manganese ore prices to China firmed Friday whilecarbonated material prices held steady.

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Market participants said February and March offers for 37% manganese orewere being made to Chinese buyers at $6.50-$7.00/dry metric ton unit butprices were being accepted at the lower end of the range.

Offers for Australian origin 45% manganese ore were heard up to$7.15/dmtu while Gabon origin was at $6.80-$7.00/dmtu all CIF China basis. AChinese smelter source said he was looking at buying Australian material ataround $7.15/dmtu as this is an "acceptable level for now."

With Chinese new year holidays fast approaching, market participants saidthey were expecting to see a slowdown in demand. "People are anticipatinglower levels in near term, so are all holding back," one Chinese trader said,adding there was no rush as there was no shortage in stocks.

A second Chinese trader said manganese ore prices in port were softcompared to seaborne material due to, "traders trying to get cash for the newyear." He added the outlook for manganese alloys prices also looked soft.

The S&P Global Platts weekly 44% manganese ore assessment was unchangedat $7.00/dmtu CIF Tianjin while 37% manganese ore was at $6.50/dmtu up 10cents on the week, same basis.

--Jitendra Gill, jitendra.gill@spglobal.com

--YuenCheng Mok yuencheng.mok@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice,geller@spglobal.com