Lisbon, Portugal — The Standing Committee of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group held its Spring meetings in Lisbon on 2 April 2014 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Henrique Santos (Portugal). During the meeting the Committee received a review of the current outlook for trends in world supply and demand for lead and zinc during 2014. This was followed by a meeting of the ILZSG Industry Advisory Panel and of the Economic and Environment Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Salim Bhabhrawala (United States).
Forecasting the zinc trends for 2014, the outlook shows:
- It is anticipated that, after having risen by 4.9% in 2013, world usage of refined zinc metal will increase by a further 4.5% to 13.58 million tonnes this year.
- Usage in China, which currently accounts for 44% of total world zinc demand, is forecast to rise by 5.8%. In Europe and the United States, increases of 3% and 1.7% respectively are anticipated.
- Elsewhere further growth is forecast in India, the Republic of Korea and Turkey, however, demand in Japan is expected to remain at a similar level to that in 2013.
- Global zinc mine production is predicted to rise by 2.6% to 13.57 million tonnes in 2014. This is mainly a consequence of further growth in Chinese output and increases in Australia driven primarily by increases in production at Glencore Xstrata`s Mount Isa and McArthur River operations and Perilya`s Broken Hill mine.
- In Latin America, expected increases in Mexico and Peru will be partially offset by a reduction in Bolivia. Similarly, in Europe, rises in Portugal and Sweden will be largelybalanced by a decrease in Ireland.
- After having remained relatively stable for the past four years Chinese production of refined zinc metal is expected to rise by 7.3% in 2014 and this is the main factor behind an anticipated overall increase in global production of 4.4% to 13.46 million tonnes.
- Production in the United States will be boosted by the opening of Horsehead Holding`s new solvent extraction plant in North Carolina and is forecast to increase by 10.4%. Rises in Belgium, Italy and Norway are the principal drivers behind an expected increase in European output of 3.6%.
- Higher production is also anticipated in India, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Namibia, where operations at Vedanta`s Skorpion refinery were adversely affected by an unscheduled maintenance shutdown at the end of 2013.
World Refined Zinc Metal Balance
- Overall, the detailed information recently collected from the Group`s member countries indicates that, as in 2013, global demand for refined zinc metal will exceed supply in 2014. It is anticipated that the size of the deficit will be 117,000 tonnes.
Source: International Lead and Zinc Study Group