Zinc fell as China’s Imports of Concentrated Zinc Slowed Down

China’s sharp decline in zinc concentrate imports during the first four months of the year had an impact on zinc, which finished yesterday at 259.9, down -0.12%. China’s imports of zinc concentrates decreased by 24% from the same time the previous year, which was a sharp reversal of the pattern observed in 2022 and 2023, when imports of raw materials had risen by 13% and 14%, respectively.

Due to a drop in production from zinc mines over the previous few years, the global zinc market also faced supply-side difficulties. The International Lead and Zinc Study Group reports that the production of zinc mines decreased by 1% in 2023 after declining by 2% in 2022.

Moreover, restarts of idle smelter capacity in Europe were seen by the market, resulting in a decrease in concentrate supply on the spot market. Depleted LME stocks underwent major rebuilding during 2023, and in 2024, they have continued to rise. In April, LME stocks have mostly stayed in a range, even if registered inventory has experienced some volatility.

According to data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, the excess in the global zinc market decreased to 52,300 metric tonnes in March from 66,800 tonnes in February. This year’s surplus, however, was still less than it was over the same period the previous year for the first three months.

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