Miners have offered smelters outside of China a flat TC. This is a discount on the London Metal Exchange price for zinc paid to smelters for converting concentrate to metal. This means a price of $90 per tonne for 2018 compared with $172 per tonne last year, three sources with knowledge of the offers told Metal Bulletin.
Smelters have countered with TC bids of more than $200 per tonne, and a base zinc price of $3,200 per tonne. They are also proposing the re-introduction of scales, where a treatment charge inflates or deflates in line with a fluctuating exchange price for the metal, several sources said.
The gap between the positions of each side reflects the shift in the mined market for zinc, from substantial deficit to greater balance this year, and the lack of visibility for future mine supply.
“The first half [of 2018] will be tight, second...