LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – The zinc market was defined by smelter woes last year with global refined metal production dropping by 4.1% relative to 2021, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
It was the sharpest fall in world zinc output since 2009, a year of massive disruption caused by the global financial crisis and ensuing collapse in industrial metal prices. Zinc usage was also weak last year, sliding by 3.3% from 2021 levels as China’s construction sector, a major user of the metal in the form of galvanised steel, struggled to regain lost momentum.
But the smelter bottleneck was severe enough to generate a global supply shortfall of more than 300,000 tonnes, according to ILZSG. Will this year be any different?
A sharp rise in the annual benchmark smelter processing fee should incentivise a turnaround in metal production. The scale of the rebound, however, will also depend on structural issues, particularly power availability in Europe and China.
For the rest of this article: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/zinc-treatment-charges-jump-after-2022-smelter-bottleneck-2023-04-12/