Zinc concs 'bloodbath' sees TCs reach new highs, lead terms dive

The treatment charges (TCs) paid for zinc concentrates continued to climb in December, while the market closed out a highly volatile 2018 at multi-year highs.

Fastmarkets assessed the spot TCs for zinc concentrates at $210-230 per tonne basis cif China on December 28, the highest recorded since pricing began in December 2014. Zinc TCs have skyrocketed from decade lows in April after smelters in China restricted capacity utilization and several major new mines began to increase production. Market sellers expect regular smelter demand to return after the Lunar New Year festival in February, but until then tonnages are being bid well into the $200s, with traders and miners struggling to find smelters willing to take on additional material. “It’s been a bloodbath year,” one mining executive told Fastmarkets. Chinese refined zinc production is down by 3.7% in the year to date, according to November data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Yet global zinc mine production will grow by 2% to 13.03 million tonnes this year and should rise a further 6.4% to 13.87 million tonnes...

Published

Anna Xu

Archie Hunter

December 31, 2018

15:20 GMT

London, Shanghai