Why outlook has turned positive for chrome and manganese
The short-term outlook for producers of South African chrome and manganese is positive
The short-term outlook for producers of South African chrome and manganese is positive, cementing the country’s role as the biggest supplier of the minerals that are used in Chinese stainless steel manufacturing. On iron ore, Macquarie analysts said in their Commodities Compendium that the global market would have a cumulative surplus of about 120-million tonnes over the next three years, needing the benchmark iron ore price to fall to the mid-$50s. Iron ore is dominated in SA by Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore and Assmang, a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals and Assore. At that price, smaller, costlier producers would have to close mines, bringing the market back into balance. China’s increasingly reliance on seaborne supplies of iron ore as its private domestic mines close, and a rising value in good-quality ore as Chinese steel mills sought better feedstock, prompted Macquarie to increase its 2019 price forecast slightly from the mid-$50s for the next two years. Macq...