SHANGHAI, Aug. 18 (SMM) - TCs of imported zinc concentrate for Chinese zinc smelters fell recently despite sufficient global zinc concentrate supply. What’s behind the drop?
"The drop in TCs of imported zinc concentrate is due mainly to strong demand and falling zinc concentrate output in China, especially South China has witnessed supply tightness”, SMM zinc analyst says. Operating rates at Chinese zinc smelters have remained high.
Global zinc concentrate output in the first six months of this year was 6.85 million tonnes, up 7.7% year-on-year, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Australia, Peru and India were the major zinc concentrate producing countries. Zinc concentrate output from Australia during the same period was 786,000 tonnes, up 9% year-on-year; output from Peru was 685,000 tonnes, up 9% year-on-year.
The growth in zinc concentrate output in Australia is mainly contributed by Glencore-Xstrata’s Mount Isa and Mc Arthur River mine. Output at the two mines rose 50,500 tonnes and 41,300 tonnes, respectively, up 25% and 42% year-on-year. Glencore’s zinc concentrate output in Australia was 394,000 tonnes in the first half of the year, up 30% year-on-year.
Zinc concentrate output from Australia is expected to grow year-on-year in 2015. Australian Century mine is expected to close in Q4, though, affecting zinc concentrate output by 500,000 mt/yr.
TCs of imported zinc concentrate fell marginally to $200-215 per dry metric tonne (DMT) in July-August, down from $200-220 March-June, according to SMM data.
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