Zinc gains as China’s smelter output drops significantly

Zinc prices rose 0.35% to close at 217.7, boosted by a large decline in Chinese smelter output and a tight supply of zinc concentrate raw material following the holiday break. This caused several enterprises to postpone the resumption of production, resulting in a modest increase in domestic refined zinc production in March 2024.

Despite the year-on-year decline, production grew somewhat in March, owing to more production days and a comeback in certain parts of China. As a result, the market mood improved, providing additional support for zinc prices.

However, supply disruptions also influenced market dynamics, with Glencore Plc suspending operations at its McArthur River zinc and lead mine in Australia due to heavy rainfall, and Peruvian miner Volcan suspending three mines while updating operating permits for its Rumichaca tailings dam.

Furthermore, delays in the commencement of the big Russian zinc mine Ozernoye, as well as the suspension of Europe’s largest zinc mine Tara, contributed to a decline in mined zinc supply, which impacted market dynamics.

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