2021 PREVIEW: Turbulence in zinc concentrate market set to continue

The global zinc concentrates market is volatile and unpredictable at the best of times, but a global pandemic ramped up the turbulence by several notches in 2020.

Spot zinc treatment charges (TCs) fell by more than 72% last year, the slide beginning after the Covid-19 pandemic forced major mines into government-mandated lockdowns.
The nosedive in spot TCs – which are discounts to the exchange price paid to smelters for the costs of turning concentrates into refined metal – reflects the supply hit that the zinc market faced in 2020.
The zinc concentrate market was expected to record a heavy surplus, but shutdowns in major zinc and lead producing mines in Peru, Bolivia, India and other heavy zinc-producing countries created an ever-widening chasm between the zinc benchmark TCs and spot terms.
Zinc mine supply hardest hit by Covid-19, supply tightness to persist in 2021
Zinc mine supply, particularly in Peru, was hardest hit by Covid-19 related disruptions, according to Wenyu Yao, senior commodity strategist at ING.

“Australia, the top supplier of zinc concentrate to China, was able to divert more...


Rijuta Dey Bera

January 13, 2021

08:00 GMT

New York