As if the manganese ore market didn’t need any additional stimulus, Portnet plans to close the main export port for South African manganese ore, Port Elizabeth, for three weeks starting in January. That should gum up everything. Meanwhile, 44% Mn ore is being offered at $8.50 per mtu. Sellers say that manganese ore prices are not even remotely being reflected in the low manganese alloy prices. “Why smelt alloys when you can sell the ore?,” one fully integrated producer told me.