LONDON, Jan. 21 -- The world zinc market was in a 92,000 metric ton surplus between January and November 2009 but it could be larger given the high number of Chinese imports during the period likely destined for stockpiles, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
The surplus compares to one of 100,000 tons in the same period in 2008.
Refined production fell by 370,000 tons in the 2009 period to 10.3 million tons, with European Union countries posting a drop of 415,000 tons.
Mine production fell 2.5% to 10.35 million tons compared with the first eleven months of 2008.
World demand fell by 362,000 tons from the January to November 2008 period. Chinese apparent demand was 4.486 million tons, which accounts for 44% of the global total, the WBMS said.
Reported stocks rose by 268,000 tons with almost all of the increase recorded at London Metal Exchange warehouses, the WBMS said. LME stocks represented 63% of the global total.
According to Chinese customs data, monthly totals for most of 2009 hit record levels and it is likely that some of this material is bound for stockpiles and thus the actual global surplus is probably much more than headline figures indicate, WBMS said.
It said much of the Chinese imports came from other Asian countries.