12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

Interview with Ma Zhe, GM of Zhanjiang Yisheng Metallurgy Imp&Exp Co., Ltd

Zhanjiang Yisheng Metallurgy Import & Export Co., Ltd., founded in 2005, is a complex enterprise focusing on import & export of minerals and ferroalloy, as well as processing. It is also a designated export enterprise of ferroalloy in China and has gotten certification of QMS ISO9001:2000.
The company, with various kinds of products and sufficient resources, deals with business of manganese ores imported from Australia, Brazil, Gabon and South Africa and chrome ores imported from South Africa, Oman, Iran, Philippines, Indian and Turkey for many years. The company, with concepts of “diligence & integrity come first” and active enterprise culture, enjoys well-deserved reputation after several years’ development. At the same time, it has built stable cooperation relationship with famous mine owners, enterprises and trades by taking advantages of location, strong business capacity and normative management. Especially in sales of chrome alloy and manganese alloy market, it has become the cooperative dealer of many enterprises in South Central China, resulting in solid foundation for healthy and diversified development for the company.
Ma Zhe: Thoughts on development of import manganese ore market
----Interview with Ma Zhe, GM of Zhanjiang Yisheng Metallurgy Imp&Exp Co., Ltd
Asian Metal: Mr. Ma, very nice to meet you. Thank you so much to accept the interview. Could you offer your thoughts on manganese ore market in Chinese ports this year and the business condition of your company?
Ma: Mass delivery of imported manganese ore has worsened since the beginning of Q3 as inventory keeps at a high level in ports. Prices of import manganese ore keep decreasing this year and now the prices hang upside down along with the sluggish steel market and the poor manganese alloy prices. Demand for manganese ore is unlikely to improve before year-end but the price will not drop sharply supported by the high cost. It is expected to keep stable with slight fluctuations.
Our business has done well in H1of this year but turns downward as the industry keeps weak at present. However, we are optimistic of the general direction of the market and believe that our business will experience a prosperous future in this industry.
Asian Metal: I would like to learn from your opinions on current economic environment as Chinese macro-economy is unfavorable for the development of capital-intensive industries. What impacts will your company face?
Ma: On domestic economic situation, most medium-and-small enterprises, especially capital-intensive enterprises, are significantly influenced by the continuous tight currency policy of the banks and CPI in China keeps at a high level. At the same time, demand for steel products in domestic market softens as real estate industry is under regulation and control and the high-speed rail construction have been delayed. Considering the current international economic environment, like debt crisis in EU, global inflation and low economic growth in America, Japan and other emerging economy countries, investors show a great anxiety on the global economy recovery. Debt crisis, especially in Europe and US, is a time bomb for global economy. Global economic recovery can return to the normal orbit if debt crisis and inflation are properly solved, resulting in increasing global demand for steel and improving steel export market in China. Only in this way, a virtuous circle can be developed from ore to steel industry. Although the above situations give an impact on our business, I believe the global economy will gradually recover and the summit conference of G20 has focused on the above problems. Hence, the company will keep developing orderly even though it meets some problems in business for the time being.
Asian Metal: We all know that the spot manganese ore in ports keeps surplus but monthly import volume of the material generally keeps above millions of tons. What’s your view of such a phenomenon?
Ma: It just goes to show that economy remains moving forward indeed. Participants hold positive attitudes toward Chinese economy although there are various problems and difficulties existing. Developments of urban construction and railway transportation are the general trend even though steel demand softens with the regulation of real estate and stagnation of high-speed rail project. At the same time, potential demand keeps strong for steel products in construction industry with the economic recovery of Southeast Asian countries and Russia. Current moment maybe the chilly winter of steel market but spring is sure to come in future.
Asian Metal: I learned that South African manganese ore takes majority shares of your import business. As we know, the import volume also keeps at a high level for the material in H2 of this year, only ranks second behind Australian manganese ore. What do you think of the position for South African manganese ore and its future outlook in Chinese market?
Ma: South African manganese ore increasingly becomes one of the mainstream ores now after several years’ development. The application, both in the smelting processing of high carbon ferromanganese and silicomanganese, has been widely accepted by smelters in domestic market because of its advantages of lower acid consumption, higher Mn recovery and lower waste production. Meanwhile, it also has price advantages compared to those materials produced in other countries. Therefore, demand for South African manganese ore becomes stronger and stronger and it is expected that South African manganese ore will play a more important role in Chinese market in future.
Asian Metal: Demand for foreign manganese ores in China keeps increasing year by year and Chinese manganese alloy market consumes more imported manganese ore. As a result, China has become a major importer for manganese ore. Some major foreign suppliers of manganese ore are also active to increase their output capacity. Do you think it is possible for China to bargain in the market instead of just passive acceptance?
Ma: Now China is carrying out industrial regulation and integration for saving energy. As for Chinese steel industry, there is not much high-quality iron ore in domestic market. As long as we can form an orderly and healthy negotiations mechanism as that in Japanese steel enterprises and expand the investment to overseas market, it is likely for us to change the current situation that we just negotiate and pricing passively. It is the same for manganese ore market.
Asian Metal: There are more enterprises, especially small and medium firms, have engaged in import business of manganese ore in China. As a result, the competition becomes more severe. What do you think of the current manganese ore market structure, and what is your plan for the future development?
Ma: As ore is non-renewable resource, many enterprises realize it and take a position in this field, including some firms in other areas, such as textile industry and automobiles. As a result, more funds from these industries pour in the market. However, those enterprises do not enjoy rapid growth because of industrial particularity and they will finally retreat from the market due to intensive competition. Our company will develop and adjust strategies in line with the economic development. We will focus more on service competition instead of rate war and try to provide more high-quality and available products for downstream ferroalloy enterprises with best service.
Ma: From general trend, the national construction, such as domestic urbanization process and the development of railway transportation, will definitely continue. Therefore, steel industry will benefit from this process. And the manganese ore market will move up in a long run. However, as there are many problems to be solved, imported manganese ore market will remain steady but weak at least within this year but I think it will pick up with the economy recovery as well as national construction. Maybe it will take a long time as destocking will be hard for imported manganese ore market.
Asian Metal: Thank you again for accepting my interview. It must be of important guiding significance for others. At the same time, may your company a bright future and a booming business.