LONDON, Oct. 27 -- The global zinc surplus soared to 327,000 mt in the year to August, according to the latest statistics from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
The surplus compares with an excess of 56,000 mt for the corresponding period a year earlier and follows sharp declines in demand in Europe, Korea and Japan.
European zinc demand fell 32%, Japanese consumption fell 30.9% and Korean demand was down by 29.4% in the first eight months of the year.
Refined zinc production in the year to August totaled 7.24 million mt against consumption of 6.91 million mt.
This compares with refined production of 7.78 million mt and consumption of 7.72 million mt for the corresponding period last year.
Refined production was 7% lower than the corresponding period in 2008 despite August seeing the highest monthly production levels this year.
Production in August this year totaled 968,500 mt compared with 928,900 mt in July, while consumption rose slightly to 938,900 mt from 934,100 mt.
Mine production totaled 7.24 million mt in the January-August period compared with 7.74 million for the corresponding period in 2008.
Mine output fell as Australia, China, Peru and the USA produced less in the first eight months of the year.
Chinese imports rose to 559,000 mt in the first eight months of 2009 compared with 75,000 mt for the corresponding period a year earlier.
Three-month zinc rose to USD 2,344/45/mt in the official session on the London Metal Exchange on Monday despite the bearish data. The contract traded as high as USD 2,365.75/mt after opening at USD 2,270/mt.
Stocks of the galvanizing metal fell by 300 mt, taking total inventories in LME-bonded warehouses to 426,925 mt.
(Source: Metal Bulletin)