SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (SMM) – China's refined zinc output stood at 553,500 mt in December, falling 8,800 mt or down 1.57% on month and up 3.06% on year. In the full 2020, output totalled 6.1 million mt, up 4.44% from 2019. Zinc smelters produced 78,700 mt of zinc alloy in December, down 3.78% from the previous month.
SMM survey showed that China's refined zinc output in December basically met expectations. Treatment charges (TCs) for domestic 50 grade zinc concentrate continued to decline in December. Domestic smelters rarely reduced production or turned into maintenance due to the shortage of zinc concentrate supply. China's refined zinc output in December fell from November mainly due to smelters’ routine maintenance and decreased zinc products of smelters led by weaker hot-galvanising alloy orders. In addition, Xinjiang Zijin Smelter was officially put into production on December 10, whose main product is #1 zinc due to equipment debugging.
TCs for zinc ore in Inner Mongolia and Hunan have temporarily slowed their downward trend in January, but TCs for zinc ore in other regions continued to decline. In addition, as imported zinc ore from smelters gradually arrived at ports in January, smelters’ raw material inventory days increased 3 days from the previous month to 25-26 days, most domestic refineries are expected to maintain stable production in January. It is expected that the reduction in domestic refined zinc in January will be mainly concentrated in the maintenance of Yunnan and Guangxi, and the reduction in production in Shaanxi and Qinghai.
China's refined zinc output is expected to decrease 6,300 mt to 547,200 mt in January.