Zinc market posits 2021 concentrate TC benchmark below $200/t; low spot terms weigh on sentiment

With negotiations for the annual zinc concentrate treatment charge (TC) under way for 2021, miners and smelters are debating how much to lower the TC after a year of tightening supply.

Fastmarkets understands that initial miner offers were close to spot levels of $100 per tonne, while smelters staked their first bids near last year's settlement price of $299.75 per tonne.
The 2020 annual benchmark zinc TC was set at $299.75 per tonne, without price participation in the form of scales, set in March between smelters and Canadian miner Teck Resources - the highest in 12 years.
Fastmarkets’ latest monthly assessment of the zinc spot concentrate TC, cif China was at $70-85 per tonne on Friday February 12, unchanged from January 29 when it dropped to a two-and-a-half-year low.
There are several variable factors surrounding the 2021 zinc TC negotiations, chiefly the expectations of rebounding mine supplies against current tightness, Fastmarkets analyst James Moore said.
“Other factors could be the threat of Covid-19 disruptions in emerging market economies, given the longer lead time in vaccinations,” Moore said.



Archie Hunter

Rijuta Dey Bera

February 18, 2021

08:33 GMT

New York, London