FOCUS: Decade-low LME zinc stocks prompt widest backwardation since Oct 2017

Total zinc stocks on the London Metal Exchange were at a 10-year low on Thursday November 1, prompting one of the metal’s widest cash/three-month spread backwardations to date.

Despite mixed market sentiment, however, the increasing tightness in zinc availability could boil down to supply flows. Zinc’s cash/three-month spread ballooned to $63 per tonne on October 23 this year from $15 per tonne on October 9, moving to its widest level since October 2017, while recently trading in a backwardation of $66 per tonne. Prior to this, zinc had not exhibited such a wide backwardation since August 2007. Meanwhile, the LME currently holds 144,175 tonnes of zinc, which is the lowest total volume since June 2008 and down by just under 85% from stock levels seen in 2012, when the total LME zinc inventory reached a peak of 1,008,850 tonnes. Total LME on-warrant material is currently...

Published

Hassan Butt

November 01, 2018

14:40 GMT

London