SHANGHAI, Dec 15 (SMM)—China's refined zinc output was 562,300 mt in November, a decrease of 1.22% month-on-month and 5.94% year-on-year, SMM data showed. From January to November, output totalled 5.55 million mt, a year-on-year increase of 4.57%. Smelters in the survey sample produced 81,800 mt of zinc alloy in November, largely flat from the previous month.
Operating rates at refined zinc smelters stood at 92.51% in November, down 1.14 percentage points month on month and up 5.26 percentage points year on year, SMM survey showed.
The increase in domestic refined zinc production in November basically met expectations. TCs of domestic zinc concentrates (Zn 50%) fell steadily in November, eroding profit of smelters. Smelters that reduced production were mostly located in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Yunnan, while smelters in Gansu and parts of Yunnan ran at full capacity due to sufficient raw material supply and to complete full-year target.
The mainstream TCs of zinc concentrates (Zn 50%) fell to 4,200 yuan/mt in metal content in December, and profits at smelters were thin. Smelters in Hunan and Yunnan undertook maintenance as scheduled, while smelters that were said to cut output maintained normal production. SMM estimates that domestic refined zinc output will decrease 14,200 mt on the month to 548,100 mt in December and capacity utilisation rates at smelters will decrease 2.34 percentage points to 90.18%.
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