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Zinc price higher amid anticipated output decline

The zinc spot price is currently trading more than 5% higher to about US$2,847.65, hitting its highest level in nearly a year.

Strong global inflationary pressures and low outright metal prices have strained zinc mining operations, leading to the closure of several smelters in Australia and Ireland.

Trading Economics reports that analysts anticipate a further decline in output this month due to scheduled maintenance, amid investors shrugging off the concerns about delayed Fed interest rate cuts.

Additionally, there is growing belief the global manufacturing slump had bottomed out, boosting the demand for zinc as a building material.

According to Trading Economics, a private survey out of China – the world’s largest consumer of zinc – shows in March the country’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in over a year, aligning with the official reading.

“Similar positive signals came from the US manufacturing sector, which grew for the first time in one-and-a-half years, and Germany’s industrial output that exceeded market expectations,” Trading Economics reports.

As reported by Mining.com.au, zinc was trading at US$2,389 as of 14 December 2023, and at the time had fallen more than 26% since the start of 2023, with strong production and weak demand leading to a widening surplus.

At a meeting in October, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group’s (ILZSG) statistics committee reversed its April 2023 prediction that the global zinc market would register a minor supply deficit of 45,000 tonnes in 2023.

It now expects supply will exceed usage by 248,000 tonnes before increasing to 367,000 tonnes in 2024.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Belararox
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.