International manganese trade has long been closely tied to the demand
of industrialized countries in Europe, North America, Japan and South East Asia. In the
early 1980's, the slowdown in steel production combined with a decrease in
manganese unit consumption resulted in a decrease in the demand for manganese.
This was partly compensated by new demands from China and CIS,
all wanting to upgrade their own resources. These trends,
added to the decrease in demand for ferruginous ore, increased the share of
high grade ore in world trade.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Japan
(High Tensile Steel)
Out of a manganese ore production of over 20 million tons per year, 8
million tons come on to the international market. A few producing countries,
Australia, Brazil, Gabon and South Africa, account for over 85% of the world's supply.
It should be noted that from the mid-1970's, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico
started upgrading their exports by locally processing part of the ore into
Today, most of the manganese requirements of industrialized
countries are supplied in the form of alloys. As a result, the USA has almost
completely abandoned local production of manganese alloys. Countries such as
France, Norway and Spain have continued to be large exporters of these