SHANGHAI, Oct 20 (SMM) — SMM survey showed that operating rates of domestic zinc concentrate stood at 67.7% in September, up 6.4 percentage points month on month and down 10.6 percentage points year on year.
With the recovery of production after the maintenance of large mines in September, the output increased significantly, such as Guosen Mining and Sichuan Huidong Daliang Mining. In addition, the resumption of production and output improvement of mines stimulated by profits also contributed to a certain increase, such as Guangxi Guigang Mining and Wancheng Dongshengmiao; In addition, the improvement of ore grade in some mines and catching up with the annual production plan at the end of the year also contributed a certain increment. The reduction was mainly caused by routine maintenance of Baiyinnuoer, and normal production resumed in October.
Zinc contract traded robustly In September, and the monthly average price rose about 220 yuan/mt. The increase of mine price share led to the rise of profits. On the other hand, overseas bulk supply is still in short supply. It is heard that the price of imported TC has been as low as 80-100 USD/dmt, over 1,000 yuan lower than that of domestic mines. Smelters' favour for domestic mines has increased. However, after deep winter, the production of small and medium-sized mines that do not have the function of keeping warm will gradually stagnate, and the domestic mineral output will decrease seasonally. This means that if there is no recovery restocking of imported mines in the fourth quarter, the overall supply of domestic mines is not optimistic.
Treatment charges in Hunan, Guangxi and Shaanxi, areas with high dependence on imported mines, decreased in September, while treatment charges in other areas did not increase substantially. National treatment charges even decreased about 500 yuan/metal mt in October. The stronger bargaining power of mines over treatment charges brought about a further tilt in profits, and it is expected that large-scale mines will keep high load when they start operation.
Most mines maintained normal production in October, and a mine in Hunan which had stopped production for a long time was successfully put into operation in October. It is estimated that the national mine operating rates in October will stand at 69.2%, up 1.5 percentage points from the previous month and down 7.4 percentage points from the same period of last year.