On the 26th of SMM6,
According to the latest customs data, imports of zinc concentrate in May were 264500 tons (physical tons), an increase of 2400 tons (physical tons) compared with the same period last year, and an increase of 85200 tons (physical tons) compared with the previous month.
(figure 1: comparison of zinc concentrate imports from 2018 to 2019)
Among them, Australia imported 95000 physical tons, accounting for 36 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in May, surpassing Peru in the first place; Peru imported 55100 physical tons, accounting for 21 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in May, ranking second; Spain imported 20600 physical tons, accounting for 8 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in May, ranking third.
(figure 2: share of imports of zinc concentrate in May 2019)
According to SMM, the main reason for the month-on-month increase in imported zinc concentrate in May was a year-on-year increase:
First, Mount Isa, which was cut off by floods in Australia in February, resumed operation at the end of April and imports of zinc concentrate returned to normal. As a result, Australia's import of zinc concentrate to China increased to 95000 physical tons, an increase of 58500 physical tons compared with April, contributing to the main increment of zinc concentrate imports.
Second, the output of domestic smelters recorded a further increase in May, an increase of 4.14% over the previous month, mainly due to the gradual resumption of normal production in some large domestic refineries and the increasing trend of output, so the demand for zinc concentrate has been further increased. Superimposed imported ore processing fees have been relatively stable at historic highs. Generally speaking, the production enthusiasm of domestic smelters has a certain boost to the consumption of zinc concentrate.
(figure 3: changes in domestic refined zinc production)
(figure 4: processing fees for domestic and imported mines)
Third, considering the supply of domestic zinc concentrate, compared with the same period last year, the self-sufficiency of domestic zinc concentrate is lower than that of last year, and it is also possible to increase the demand for zinc concentrate import this year.
(figure 5: domestic zinc concentrate output from 2017 to 2019)
After June, Australian imports returned to normal, with a partial replenishment in the early stage, or a rebound in imports; in addition, the Russian zinc concentrate was exported to China for the first time through the Central European train at the end of May, or there was a partial increase in the original import volume. Finally, based on the fact that the domestic refined zinc production may be increasing, the demand for zinc concentrate still needs to be supplemented by imports, but considering that the loss of zinc concentrate is still high, the import volume may be slightly limited, which is slightly higher than that in May. Overall, SMM expects imports of zinc concentrate to be around 27-280000 physical tons in June.
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