SHANGHAI, Jul. 25 (SMM) - China imported 41,713 tonnes of refined zinc in June, a rise of 27.8% on the month, according to China Customs. China’s imports of refined zinc in the first six months of the year totaled 180,000 tonnes, down 38% on a yearly basis.
Despite the big growth in zinc imports, it is not necessary to be too pessimistic toward zinc market, SMM said. Zinc imports were still lower than expected, but supply deficit in June was even more severe than expected. Supply deficit remains in July.
China’s zinc concentrate output was 378,000 tonnes (zinc content) in June, SMM survey shows, down 5.1% year-on-year. Total production during January and June rose 0.9% year-on-year. China’s zinc concentrate output is expected to decline 4.6% on the month in July.
China’s zinc concentrate imports were 172,240 tonnes in June, China Customs reported. Total zinc concentrate imports increased 30% on a yearly basis during January and June.
Slower growth in domestic zinc concentrate output will constrain release of refined zinc output, SMM said.
Based on SMM survey, domestic refined zinc production was estimated at 481,000 tonnes in June, up 9.3% on a monthly basis. Total output in the first half of the year will fall 2.3% on a yearly basis.
China’s refined zinc output will barely grow in July, SMM predicts. Growth in zinc imports was lower-than-expected in June, and zinc imports are set to fall in July. This will restrict zinc supply, too.
Zinc consumption by end-users rose 2.4% on a yearly basis during January-June, SMM survey finds. Stable consumption left zinc ingot supply in deficit. As of last week, zinc inventories in Shanghai, Guangdong and Tianjin were 120,000 tonnes, down 8,000 tonnes from 130,000 tonnes in early June, SMM data showed
From the fundamental point of view, zinc prices still have support given supply tightness, SMM said.
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