SHANGHAI, Feb 22 (SMM) – Output of zinc concentrates in China fell to 271,200 mt in January as mines suspended for the Lunar New Year holidays and as cold weather impacted, showed an SMM survey.
Operating rates across those zinc concentrate producers averaged 59.3% last month, down 16.8 percentage points from the finalised rate of 76.1% in December.
In light of high treatment charges, mines were not very enthusiastic about production after the year-end rush to meet annual production targets was over. This also contributed to the decline in operating rates for January.
The average operating rate across zinc mines in China is expected to fall 7.1 percentage points from January to stand at 52.2% in February as mines suspended for the holidays. This is set to result in further declines in zinc concentrate output.
Small and medium-sized mines shut for 15-30 days in February. Large mines with annual capacity of above 10,000 mt in Pb content suspended for shorter, with production being impacted by 30-40%.