Zinc TCs down 40% on LatAm supply disruptions, short covering

Zinc concentrate treatment charges (TCs) have fallen sharply in September 2020, reversing a three-month upward trend because of supply tightness from South America, amid continuing disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, putting pressure on traders and smelters to cover short positions.

Fastmarkets’ most recent assessment of the zinc spot concentrate TC, cif China, was $100-120 per tonne on Friday September 25. This was down by 38.9% from the previous range of $170-190 per tonne at the end of August.
Strong demand from Chinese, South Korean and other global smelters, coupled with tightened supply, led to the falling terms for both zinc and lead concentrates.
Peru, Bolivia supply still uneven
A late-August suspension of mining at the San Cristóbal mine in Bolivia, due to Covid-19 infections there, caused a rush of covering in the market.
The mine is a major producer of zinc, lead and silver concentrates. Owner Sumitomo confirmed to Fastmarkets that the company had hit full production again on September 18.
Similarly, Peruvian zinc-lead-silver miner Alpayana, formerly known as Casapalca, resumed operations at the beginning of September after being shuttered for a month.

Pan American Silver, which closed two...

Published

Anna Xu

Archie Hunter

Rijuta Dey Bera

September 30, 2020

19:25 GMT

London, New York, Shanghai