According to the latest customs data, imports of zinc concentrate in September were 294700 tons (tons in kind), an increase of 71700 tons (tons in kind) over the same period last year, and an increase of 45300 tons (tons in kind) over the previous month.
Among them, Australia imported 134400 physical tons, accounting for 46 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in September, surpassing Peru in the first place; Peru imported 53200 physical tons, accounting for 18 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in September, ranking second; the Russian Federation imported 14900 physical tons, accounting for 5 percent of the total zinc concentrate imports in September, ranking third.
According to SMM, the reasons for the significant increase in imports of zinc concentrates in September from a year earlier are as follows:
First, the import increment of zinc concentrate in September was mainly contributed by Australia. In September alone, the import of zinc concentrate in Australia increased by nearly 70, 000 physical tons compared with August, mainly due to a certain increase in the return to production of Lady Loretta, owned by Glencore, and a certain increase in production in McArthur River mines due to the rise in grade this year.
Second, due to the increase in the volume of overseas mines, overseas smelters have failed to completely consume overseas zinc concentrate. Skorpion, a subsidiary of Skorpion Zinc International, a subsidiary of Vedanta Zinc Company, will close its zinc smelter at the RoshPinah mining base at the end of October. The acquisition of raw materials by the enterprise will also be affected to a certain extent. Overall, due to the loose end of overseas mines and bottlenecks at the smelting end, the superimposed import window basically opened in September, and the amount of zinc concentrate exported to China is also expected to increase again.
Third, the demand for domestic smelters is still large, domestic large and medium-sized smelters basically return to normal production, maintenance affects the output is relatively limited. And is about to enter the winter storage period, raw material inventory stock demand also has a certain boost to the increase in the number of imported zinc concentrate.
In October, refinery production demand is still relatively strong, superimposed some refineries or prepare for winter storage in advance, but domestic mine production is still relatively loose, the amount of imported zinc concentrate may remain at a similar level in September.
Overall, SMM expects imports of zinc concentrate to be around 28-300000 tons in October.