Weaker global zinc metal demand cuts deficit by 13% in 2018 vs last year

The global refined zinc market deficit shrank by 13% year on year in 2018 to 384,000 tonnes from 2017's 442,000 tonne deficit, caused by dampening demand in China, South Africa and Turkey, the International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) said on Wednesday February 20.

World production of refined zinc last year was roughly flat with 2017, increasing just 0.1% year on year to 13,279,000 tonnes from 13,268,000 tonnes. While output in China and India decreased significantly due to stringent environmental regulations and moving facilities, production in Australia, Canada and Belgium rose, according to the ILZSG. In addition, Russian OJSC Electrozinc’s 110,000-tonne-per-year Vladikavkaz plant shut down permanently in October due to a fire, withholding 30,600 tonnes of refined zinc from the market. At the same time, global zinc mine output rose 2% between 2017 and 2018 from 12,612,000 tonnes to 12,866,000 tonnes, with Australia, Finland and Greece being the main contributors. The supply rise in zinc concentrates as well as refined production outages at major Chinese zinc smelters, such as Zhuzhou Smelter and Hanzhong...


Anna Xu

February 20, 2019

16:50 GMT