SHANGHAI, Jul 11 (SMM) – Imported zinc is set to impact consumption of domestic brands, as downstream buyers favoured cheaper imports.
As of Tuesday July 10, Australian SMC zinc traded at a discount of 20-50 yuan/mt over #0 domestic brands, AZ, KZ, and YP traded at a discount of 70-100 yuan/mt, and Spanish, Indian, and Peruvian brands traded at 170-220 yuan/mt. Import losses narrowed to around 100 yuan/mt as of Tuesday, SMM calculated.
The import window opened as the yuan rebounded on uplifting remarks from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) last Tuesday, and on positive Chinese economic data. The yuan currently stands at 6.6-6.7 against the US dollar.
SHFE zinc prices tumbled in July. As of the morning of Wednesday July 11, the SHFE 1808 contract lost over 1,000 yuan/mt from Tuesday to hover at 20,750 yuan/mt. It fell to a new low of 20,620 yuan/mt from the same period last year.
Separately, visible zinc inventories across LME warehouses stood at 250,000 mt as of July 10. Social inventories in Shanghai, Guangdong and Tianjin shrank 2,300 mt from last Friday to 109,900 mt as of Monday July 9, a low this year. However, SMM expects that the pessimistic outlook of long positions is unlikely to keep inventories low in the near term.