The most-traded May zinc contract on the SHFE rose to 23,225 yuan ($3,456) per tonne as at 10.14am Shanghai time, up by 0.56% - or 130 yuan per tonne - from last Thursday’s close of 23,095 yuan per tonne. Chinese markets were closed on Friday April 5 for a public holiday.
The dollar index, which gauges the strength of the US dollar against a basket of foreign currencies, was at 97.33 as at 10.14am Shanghai time, down from 97.40 at last Friday’s close.
Providing further support to zinc prices on the SHFE were concerns over supply following the release of the latest statistics by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showing that the global refined zinc market ran a deficit of 28,000 tonnes in January 2019, That was in contrast with the 5,000-tonne surplus seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Meanwhile, SHFE zinc stocks continued to edge lower in the week to April 4, with 1,032 tonnes of outflow recorded and pushing net holdings down to 108,772 tonnes.
“Even though holdings look elevated, on-warrant stocks are at a mere 53,825 tonnes, suggesting very little availability at a time when demand is expected to increase,” Fastmarkets’ research analyst Andy Farida said.
Higher demand at a time when refined supply constraints are growing is the perfect mix for more upside in zinc’s price action, according to Farida.
“Many Chinese [zinc] smelters have carried out maintenance recently, which has aroused concerns over supply shortage,” Chinese broker Citic Futures said in a morning note on Monday.
• Among the other metals in the complex on the SHFE, copper and tin both fell. The most-traded June copper contract on the SHFE dropped to 49,430 yuan per tonne as at 10.14am Shanghai time, down by 0.42%, or 210 yuan per tonne, from last Thursday’s close of 49,640 yuan per tonne.
• Meanwhile, the most-traded May tin contract recorded a dip of 0.18%, or 260 yuan per tonne, from last Thursday to 147,900 yuan per tonne on Monday.
• In US data on last Friday, the April US jobs report showed that 196,000 Americans joined the labor market, above the forecast figure of 175,000. But the unemployment rate was steady at 3.8% and average hourly earnings inched upward by 0.1%, below the 0.2% projection.
•Data due out on Monday include German February import and export figures, April's Eurozone Sentix investor confidence index reading and US February durable goods orders numbers.