SHANGHAI, Mar.26 – Peng Tao, secretary to the lead and zinc division of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, gave a summary to three major issues facing China’s lead and zinc industries at the Shanghai Lead & Zinc Summit 2013 last Friday.
First, cost has been climbing. The rising costs on raw materials, energy, labor, finance, taxes, and environmental protection left little room for the transfer of foreign lead and zinc capacity to China.
Second, severe overcapacity and weak demand led to decline in refined zinc output. Given the challenge from resources, environmental protection, and costs, targets for annual growth in lead and zinc output during the 12th Five Year Plan period have been halved from the 11th Five Year Plan to 5.2% and 6.9%. The global economic slowdown and slipping demand caused cheap products overseas to flow into domestic markets, driving up refined zinc imports in 2012 and largely hurt China’s zinc sector. Thus, zinc output staged decline which was rarely seen before.
Third, heavy metal pollution should be controlled strictly. Prevention of heavy metal pollution has become essential for survival and development of domestic lead and zinc enterprises. With the release of indicators for heavy metal pollution control, and requirements for carbon dioxide and pollutant discharge, lead and zinc smelters will be under greater pressure with respect to environmental protection and technology upgrade for emission reduction and energy conservation.