The initial long-term contract offers from both sides reflect a deep discrepancy in how the market is viewed for the long term.
Zinc miners have offered smelters outside of China a flat treatment charge (TC) of $90 per tonne, compared with $172 per tonne last year, Metal Bulletin has learned. And smelters have countered with TC bids of more than $200 per tonne and a base zinc price of $3,200 per tonne. Smelters have also proposed the re-introduction of scales.
Zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange reached a series of 10-year highs at the end of 2017
, due to a lack of supply and growing demand. The LME’s three-month zinc contract averaged $3,412.80 per tonne in January 2018, up 27.4% from an average $2727.74 per tonne in January 2017.