INFOGRAPHIC: The sprouting market for manganese fertilizer in Brazil

Manganese is primarily known for its use in steel production, which makes up about 90% of the metal’s demand. However, manganese is also an essential micronutrient that is needed for plant life.

Brazil is the world's largest exporter of soybeans, but it is finding widespread manganese deficiencies are hurting crop yields. This creates a new opportunity for high-grade manganese producers.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Manganese fertilizer infographic presented by: Cancana

Manganese is primarily known for its uses in steel production, which makes up about 90% of the metal’s demand. However, it is less known for its important uses in batteries and particularly fertilizers.

Manganese is an essential micronutrient that is needed for plant and animal life. While it is needed in lesser amounts than the major fertilizer elements (N, P, K), the metal is essential for healthy growth of plants. There is no substitute for manganese in crops as it is needed chemically for photosynthesis.

Manganese is sufficient in most soils to supply crop needs, but may be deficient in dry conditions, sandy soils, high organic matter soils (especially peat and muck), and soils with high pH.

As the world’s largest net agricultural supplier, Brazil is the world’s breadbasket and agribusiness makes up almost a quarter of the country’s GDP.


Brazil produces 30% of the world’s soybeans and is also the crop’s #1 exporter with 41% of all shipments. Growth in soybean production is not stopping, and it continues to expand by 14.1% per year in Amazonian states, covering over eight million hectares.

However, there is a major problem for these farmers. This soil tends to be low in manganese micronutrients. Balanced plant nutrition with micronutrients can increase soybean yield by approximately 30%, yet manganese is the most common deficiency noted in soybean production in Brazil. Without it, farmers cannot maximize crop yield or revenues.


Not just any type of manganese will do. It has to be both high-purity and high-grade. Crops are eaten directly or indirectly by humans, so manganese must not have significant levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, or chromium. Brazil has specific regulations on the level of contaminants allowed, and therefore high-purity manganese is needed.

Manganese also has to be high-grade. Many fertilizer and feed applications call for high-grade ores with a minimum grade of 48%. As a result, more than a 30% premium is paid for high-grade, high-purity manganese ore.


Of particular interest is Mato Grosso, which uses more manganese than any other state in Brazil. This state is expected to account for 43.7% of the additional fertilizer and feed demand of manganese over the coming years, and high-grade sources of ore in this area will be particularly strategic.