ILZSG: Global refined zinc metal recorded a deficit in 2016

Lisbon, Portugal — According to preliminary data of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), the global market for refined zinc metal recorded a deficit of 286kt in 2016. Inventories held in LME, Shanghai Futures Exchange and Chinese State Reserve Bureau warehouses together with those reported by producers, consumers and merchants decreased by 82kt to total 1,384kt.

More key figures indicate:

  • A substantial 43,1 percent decline in Australian zinc mine output was primarily a consequence of the closure of MMG’s Century mine at the end of 2015 and a reduction in output at a number of Glencore’s mines. Production was also significantly lower in Ireland, due to the shutdown of Vedanta’s Lisheen operation, India and Peru. However, these reductions were offset by increases in Bolivia, Canada, China and the commissioning of new production in Eritrea. As a consequence overall world production was at a similar level to that in 2015.
  • World output of refined zinc metal was also close to the total recorded in 2015 with increases in China and the Republic of Korea being balanced by a significant fall in India and reductions in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Japan, Mexico, Poland and the United States.
  • A rise in global usage of refined zinc metal of 3.6 percent was primarily driven by sharp increases in apparent demand in China and India. A fall in apparent usage in the United States of 12.4 percent was possibly affected by drawdowns in unreported stock levels. European demand was 0.3 percent lower.
  • Chinese imports of zinc contained in zinc concentrates in 2016 amounted to 817kt a decrease of 40.5 percent compared to 2015. Net imports of refined zinc metal decreased by 9.8 percent to total 403kt.
  • Cash Settlement and Forward Three Month Prices on the LME averaged US-$ 2,095 and US-$ 2,102 respectively during 2016, 8.6 percent and 8.4 percent higher than during 2015. The highest Cash Settlement Price of US-$ 2,907 was recorded on 28 November and the lowest of US-$ 1,453 on 12 January.

Full details are available in the February 2017 edition of the Group’s 77 page ‘Lead and Zinc Statistics’ Bulletin. The 2017 edition of the ILZSG ‘Lead and Zinc New Mine and Smelter Projects’ report, with details of more than 200 lead and zinc projects, is now available. Further details about the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) together with a full list of publications are available on the Group’s website under

Source: International Lead & Zinc Study Group





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