Manganese is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties. Currently, no practical approaches exist for replacing it with other materials or for obtaining the bulk of U.S. requirements from domestic sources. Strategic concerns of the United States for manganese largely apply also to Japan and Western Europe.
Ironmaking and steelmaking have steadily accounted for about 90% of manganese demand, so that the state of the manganese industry is largely determined by the level of activity in the steel industry. U.S. apparent consumption of manganese in the 1980's was significantly lower than that in the 1970's. This stemmed from the dual effects of technological change and/or economic factors that not only reduced domestic steel production but also lowered the rate of consumption of manganese in steel production. Manganese ore was the dominant form in which manganese was imported until 1977. In that year, a crossover occurred because of a declining trend in importing ore for domestic conversion into manganese ferroalloys and a related rising trend in imports of ferroalloys and metal. The actual price of metallurgical-grade manganese ore rose to record levels in the late 1980's, for which at least part of the cause was the importing by China and the former U.S.S.R. of substantial quantities of high-grade ore.
- Table 1.--U.S. Government stockpile goals and yearend physical inventories for manganese materials
- Table 2.--U.S. consumption and industry stocks of manganese ore,1/ by use
- Table 3.--U.S. consumption and industry stocks of manganese ferroalloys and metal
- Table 4.--U.S. exports of manganese ore, ferroalloys, and metal
- Table 5.--U.S. imports for consumption of manganese ore, ferroalloys, metal, and dioxide
- Table 6.--Manganese ore: world production, by country
- Table 7.--U.S. manganese supply-demand relationships and prices