World mine production of manganese (gross weight) has grown at a rate of over 7%py since 2000, reaching an estimated 53.9Mt in 2014. Although a sharp decline in production occurred between 2008 and 2009, as the world market responded to lower demand for steel following the global financial crisis, production has since recovered and supply has seen almost double-digit growth over the five years to 2014.
In terms of gross weight, China remains the largest mine producer followed by South Africa and Australia. Together these three countries accounted for nearly three-quarters of global mine production in 2014.The manganese content of ore varies between countries, however, and, as Chinese production is of mainly low-grade ore, South Africa was the world's biggest producer in contained manganese terms.
The majority of manganese ore is used in the production of ferroalloys, principally for use in steel. Most SiMn, HC FeMn and MLC FeMn production is located in Asia with China being the world's leading producer of all manganese ferroalloys, as well as EMM and EMD.
Manganese ore consumption increased at a rate of nearly 5%py over the 2000 to 2014 period, reaching 17.4Mt in 2014. As a result, consumption slightly outstripped production. Asia was by far the biggest consuming region. Most manganese (91%) is used in the production of iron and steel, with the balance of demand coming from non-ferrous alloys, batteries and other small-scale applications.
After falling sharply during the global financial crisis, the manganese price recovered, to some extent, and continued to improve through 2009 until mid-2010. However, in the second half of 2010 and throughout 2011, manganese ore prices eased. Prices dropped further in 2012 but rebounded to average around US$5.50dmtu in 2013. In 2014, prices again softened and averaged around $4.50/dmtu.
Roskill expects that manganese consumption will continue to follow global growth trends. Both global GDP and crude steel production are expected to increase at a rate of over 3% over the 2014 to 2020 period. Manganese ores, ferroalloys, metal and chemicals are also expected to enjoy modest increases over this timeframe.
Manganese consumption, by end-use, 2014