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Suspension Of Mn-Met Production At Plant Of MMC / S.Africa Results In Decrease Of Its Output
= Among Two Plants In South Africa, Mn-Met Production At Krugersdorp Plant Has Been Suspended
According to an information from South Africa, Manganese Metal Company ( Pty) Ltd. ( MMC = a company of BHP Billiton Group ) in South Africa has suspended to produce electrolytic manganese metal at the Krugersdorp plant by the end February of 2006. MMC has possessed two plant to produce electrolytic manganese metal and the production at the above plant has been suspended. MMC already explained the consumers concerned about the company's plan to concentrate the production of electrolytic manganese metal on one plant.

MMC has possessed the two plants as mentioned above. One is the Krugersdorp plant, which has the capacity to produce 20,000 tons per annum of electrolytic manganese metal, and another one is the Nelspruit plant, which has the capacity to produce 30,000 tons per annum of this metal. In order to survive in this sector, MMC is scheduled to concentrate hereafter the production on the Nelspruit plant, which has a power to be competitive on costs. Since the Krugersdorp plant has stopped to produce electrolytic manganese metal, the output of electrolytic manganese metal by MMC in 2006 decreases in comparison with that in 2005.

Chinese producers have claimed that they are able to produce electrolytic manganese metal by the lowest costs in the world, and they launched to sell their product in the western world. Consequently, many producers of electrolytic manganese metal in the western world were obliged to withdraw from this production. The US producers could have maintained their production of this metal for a comparatively long period but the Marietta plant of Eramet in Ohio State ceased to produce electrolytic manganese metal from July of 2000 and the plant of Kerr-Mcgee in Oklahoma State also stopped to produce this metal from May of 2001. Therefore, the remainders are the two plants of MMC in South Africa but one of these two plants is at last on the way to stop the production and only the Nelspruit plant has survived.

MMC has specialized to produce high quality electrolytic manganese metal, which China is unable to produce, and so far survived. However, the exchange rate of South African Rand against US-Dollar has strengthened to a considerable extent and this strengthened exchange rate of Rand / US$ has continued for a long period. This matter is one of the factors to drive the Krugersdorp plant to stop their production of electrolytic manganese metal as mentioned above.

According to the data released in China, the total capacity to produce electrolytic manganese metal in China came to 930,000 tons per annum as of the end of 2004 but the capacity at the end of 2005 is not known. China produced 490,000 tons of electrolytic manganese metal in 2004 and it is certain that the facilities to produce electrolytic manganese metal in China are excessive. However, it is said that spot prices of Chinese electrolytic manganese metal are in the range of US$1,200 - 1,230 per ton CIF Japan at present, which are not payable for their production costs, and it is necessary for Chinese producers to push up this price level.

In 2000 to 2001 when the producers of electrolytic manganese metal in the USA had successively stopped their production, the price of Chinese electrolytic manganese metal had risen steeply but it is marked to see whether the countermeasure for electrolytic manganese metal taken this time by MMC will put a stimulation on the price of Chinese product to be exported or not.
last modified : Mon 17 Apr, 2006 [11:38]
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