The markets in context
An in depth analysis of the manganese ore production over the next five years seem to indicate that conditions will continue to remain very favorable for the producers of such manganese ore. There are several reasons why it could be expected that prices which will be paid for such manganese ore will continue to remain on favorable levels. There has been a slight decline in the quality of manganese ore and this is forcing steel producers to make use of more blending and this is why they are more than willing to pay higher prices for high grade manganese ore. The focus seems to be on the variety of several grades of stainless steel and not so much on the general steel production and this is why the demand for nickel as well as manganese alloys will continue to increase. There has been an increase per capita in the developing worlds because of higher population numbers and therefore a reduction in the demand for manganese is very unlikely. Although there has been additional sources of manganese ore that has been discovered such new sources are not adequate to satisfy the increasing demand and in most cases the cost of production are substantially higher and all of this is working in the favor of sustainable manganese ore demand.
The South African position
South Africa continues to play a very important role in the supply of iron ore and other related products. This country is still the 3rd largest exporter of iron ore to China which just proves once again the very real importance of iron ore deposits which exist in South Africa which once again emphasizes its importance as a global contributor. South Africa is still the seventh-largest producer of iron ore and for many years they had been a force to reckon with in the area of iron ore exports and such exports has increased even more because of the suspension of mining operations in India in September 2012. According to statistics South Africa has produced an astonishing 67 million metric tons of iron ore in 2013 alone. During that same time it has been established that South Africa has over 1000 million tons of crude ore reserves and they also have at least 650 million metric tons of mineable iron content reserves. This is one of the reasons was that Africa is a very important supplier of iron ore and it provides foreign steel producers with additional options when it comes to blending opportunities. A limiting factor on the amount of iron ore which could be exported by South Africa are the capacities which can could be handled on the iron ore railway lines.
The global market
It is a well-known fact that global economics will play a very important role in the actual size of the iron ore market. In this regard China will continue to be a very large factor and if their focus on urbanization continues it is also likely that the demand for steel related products will continue to be high. Unfortunately the recent economic problems had a very real impact on steel production and in many regions including Europe there had been problems and this had a very real impact on South Africa which rely on such iron ore exports to grow its economy.
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