Metal Bulletin assessed Shanghai-bonded zinc stocks at around 55,000-60,000 tonnes at the end of October, down 34.3% from the previous month and 65.8% from last year. Inventories are now at the lowest since April 2015 when Metal Bulletin started assessments.
“The market grabbed the last opportunity to import amid supply tightness in both metal and concentrates,” a Shanghai trader said.
The London-Shanghai arbitrage window for zinc has narrowed but there is still profit to be made. It opened for the second time this year in mid-August, after opening between mid-May and the end of June.
Zinc import gains peaked at $124.16 per tonne on October 18, and have since narrowed to $1.06 per tonne on Tuesday October 31.
Low domestic production has also encouraged imports into China. Zinc production in September came to 551,000 tonnes, down 2.7% year on year but up 8.7% from the previous month. Total refined zinc output was...