SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) – Lead and zinc industries slipped into the red last year, according to Peng Tao, Executive Vice Secretary-General of Lead & Zinc Branch of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) on March 22.
Data from the CNIA show that large enterprises in lead and zinc industries reported RMB 23.62 billion in profits in 2012, down 13.0% YoY. Of these, profits at companies engaging in mining and dressing declined 7.9% YoY to RMB 18.32 billion, while those at smelters dropped 26.7% YoY to RMB 5.3 billion. Smelters accounted for only 22.4% of total profits in lead and zinc industries, down from 30% during the 11th Five-Year Plan period and 26.7% during 2011.
Most large lead and zinc smelters suffered losses last year, according to the CNIA.
Mr. Peng said lead smelters largely gain profits from gold, silver and sulphuric acid, which are by-products of lead. Zinc smelters suffer even heavier losses compared with lead smelters, due mainly to depressing zinc prices, faltering demand and low processing fees.