Manganese consumption is primarily driven by the steel industry, which accounted for 94% of demand in 2019 and is expected to maintain a market share of over 90% over the 2020s. Batteries account for only a small volume of demand, but the use of manganese in lithium-ion batteries has brought growing attention to this niche market. Consumption in batteries still mostly involves manganese ore being processed into manganese dioxide, however, the EV battery sector will increasingly consume manganese in sulphate form.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, production in 2020 was already expected to remain flat or slightly decline, due to the weak market conditions that prevailed in the second half of 2019. Average cost of production for manganese products fell sharply in the early months of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted all of the main manganese ore cost drivers, allowing marginal producers to maintain their operations.
While COVID-19 exacerbated the expected decline in manganese mine supply, Roskill expects demand to fall by 6.5% y-o-y with the impacts of COVID-19, falling back to 2018 levels and maintaining the surplus balance that was in place in end-2019. Nevertheless, the expected decline has been mitigated to some extent by the rapid recovery in China to record levels and Roskill’s base-case forecast that there will be limited long-term impacts on demand between 2022 and 2030.
Roskill’s upcoming webinar will present the key narratives from its NEW Manganese: Outlook to 2030 16th Edition report, which is out now and provides Roskill’s latest supply, demand, trade and price analysis with a 10-year forecast. The forecast looks at the impacts of COVID-19, the fundamentals of the cost structure of the industry for prices, as well as the lithium-ion battery and EV market markets for manganese.
12 November 2020 — 08:30 GMT
12 November 2020 — 15:30 GMT
12 November 2020 — 19:00 GMT