Nexa sees strong zinc prices, demand outpacing supply – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – March 6, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Nexa Resources expects demand for zinc to outpace supply, keeping prices for the metal at $3,400 to $3,500 a ton for the rest of the year, Chief Executive Tito Martins said on Tuesday.

Small mines in China, which previously ramped up output to meet demand, are unable to renew permits under new environmental policies and help meet demand growing at a rate of 2 to 2.5 percent annually, Martins said in an interview at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto.

“Prices have been very stable between $3,400 and $3,500 and we are assuming the price should remain, at the least, at the level they are for the full year,” Martins said.

Recent price declines were caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to introduce tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, he added. “The perception is that if Trump’s tariffs prevail, all the economies will lose,” he said.

Zinc prices touched their lowest levels since December on Tuesday, sliding to $3,272 a tonne, after an increase in exchange inventories calmed fears about availability.

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