Zinc miners try to halve annual conc TCs with 2018 market set for swings in supply

Zinc miners hope to halve the annual concentrate Treatment Charges (TCs) in initial offer prices to smelters this year, while the market prepares for what could be one of the most vibrantly contested negotiations for years.

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...

Published

Archie Hunter

January 29, 2018

19:45 GMT

London