By Paul Ploumis
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest statistics published by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) indicates that global refined zinc market was in marginal deficit of 6,000 tonnes during the initial three-month period of the current year. This is when compared with the corresponding quarterly period last year. The total reported zinc inventories have declined by 18,000 tonnes during this period.
The zinc mine output rebounded strongly in major producing countries including Australia, Canada, China, Eritrea, India, Peru and Turkey. Overall, the zinc mine output increased by 11.3% during the initial quarter of 2017 when compared with the corresponding three-month period last year.
The refined zinc metal production during the initial three-month period totaled 3.406 million tonnes, marginally higher by 2.65% when compared with the 3.318 million tonnes output during corresponding quarter in 2016. The refined zinc metal production recorded modest increase in China, India and Norway. However, the gains were partially offset by decline in production by Canada.
The global demand for refined zinc metal increased slightly to 3.412 million tonnes during January to March this year, as compared with 3.315 million tonnes during the same period last year. Europe’s apparent usage has declined slightly by 1.2% during this period. China too reported demand decline of nearly 3.1% during this period. However, the drop in usage was offset by strong apparent usage from the US. Incidentally, the US recorded 49.4% jump in apparent usage of refined zinc metal.
Interestingly, Chinese net imports of zinc contained in concentrates increased sharply by 10.8% during Jan-Mar ’17 in comparison with the corresponding period in 2016. The Chinese net imports of refined zinc metal totaled 297,000 tonnes. The net imports of refined zinc metal tumbled by 69.3% to 54,000 tonnes.
The ILZSG preliminary data indicates that global zinc mine output totaled 1.089 million tonnes during the month of March alone. The global refined zinc metal production totaled 1.144 million tonnes, whereas global zinc demand totaled 1.190 million tonnes during the month.
The ILZSG preliminary data indicates that global refined lead market was in deficit of 44,000 tonnes during the initial three months of 2017. The total reported lead inventories increased by 19,000 tonnes during the same period.
The lead mine production reported increase in countries such as China, India and Kazakhstan. The overall global lead mine production soared nearly 19% during Jan-Mar ’17 when compared with the corresponding three-month period in 2016. The world lead mine output during the three-month period this year totaled 1.310 million tonnes as against 1.106 million tonnes during the same period in 2016.
The refined lead metal production during the three-month period totaled 2.940 million tonnes, significantly higher by almost 10% when compared with the 2.673 million tonnes output during corresponding quarter in 2016. The refined lead metal production reported 21.4% jump in China. Several other countries including India, the Republic of Korea and the United States too recorded increased lead metal output.
The global demand for refined lead metal witnessed sharp rise of 12.3% to 2.984 million tonnes during January to March this year. The European apparent usage increased marginally by 0.9%. Chinese apparent usage surged higher by 21.5%. The refined metal demand in the United States was up by 19.5% during the first quarter of 2017.
The ILZSG preliminary data indicates that global lead mine output totaled 448,200 tonnes during the month of March alone. The global refined zinc metal production totaled 1.002 Million tonnes, whereas global zinc usage totaled 1.039 Million tonnes during the month.
ILZSG, formed in 1959 by the UN, is one of the longest established international commodity organizations. It provides opportunities for regular intergovernmental consultations on international trade in lead and zinc, continuous information on the supply and demand position of lead and zinc and its probable development and to make special studies of the world situation and consider possible solutions to any problems or difficulties which are unlikely to be resolved in the ordinary development of world trade.