The European manganese flake market is pessimistic about the market outlook

Comprehensive foreign media reported on April 27 that due to currency depreciation and the impact of the epidemic, European manganese flake market participants are monitoring the potential chain reaction of the Chinese manganese flake market to predict the near- and medium-term price direction in Europe.

The fallout from the outbreak has weighed on fundamentals, with manganese flakes further driving down prices after plunging last month. The sharp fall in the yuan's exchange rate against the dollar has exacerbated the situation.

Weak domestic demand for 200-series stainless steel in China pushed the heavily inflated market into a downward trajectory from late February to early April, after which prices have largely stabilized.

Argus assessed the price of manganese flakes in Rotterdam at $3,200-3,400 per ton yesterday, down $50 from April 21, but roughly in line with previous weeks.

Prices in the Dutch port of Rotterdam have also reached a relative bottom as prices in China are close to production costs, but recent developments have heightened uncertainty, market participants said.

Chinese export prices fell to $2,500-2,600/ton FOB yesterday (April 26), while offers to Europe fell to $2,600-2,700/ton from last week's $2,700-2,800/ton. Correspondingly, bids for immediate availability at the Dutch port of Rotterdam have reportedly fallen by $50-100/t, but the value of the deals that have been concluded is stable.

Any major changes in port prices will lag Asian markets. Traders said the Chinese market was relatively bearish, but Europe was largely unchanged. However, market participants are still speculating on near-term moves.

One end-user stated that he would not buy at current market levels because he believes prices will fall.

In the absence of clear instructions from China, some European players are pinning their hopes on the results of a recent 2,100-tonne iron ore tender by a German steelmaker. But sources said iron ore prices were in the $2,800-$3,200 a tonne range.

Another German steelmaker held a tender for 1,500 tonnes today and the closing price may provide some transparency.

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