About Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral and a heavy metal that is utilised in multivitamins as well as the mineral supplements. It is 24th most abundant chemical element that can be found on earth naturally. It remains slight brittle at room temperature. In appearance, it looks blueish silver. The element has five stable isotopes.
Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of zinc in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).
In Q2 2022, zinc prices in the Asia-Pacific region displayed mixed sentiments for a number of reasons. Due to higher zinc metal costs spurred on by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which led many zinc smelters to halt or reduce zinc metal output, prices in China on the domestic market somewhat increased during the first part of Q2. The inventory levels in seven of China's key markets fell during the week ending April 29, which led to a small increase in market prices. The price peaked at 4460 USD/MT in the last week of April. On the other hand, falling LME zinc prices disturbed the equilibrium of the market and led to falling SHFE zinc prices. After May, the market went negative, the China producer pricing index (PPI) fell to 8%, and prices became constrained since there were fewer downstream orders. Zinc prices were recorded in the range of 3800-4000 USD/MT in the month of May.
The price of the metal rose considerably from January to May in Q2 of 2022, after which it began to decline in June. Zinc prices in the US hit all-time high in May as a result of fierce competition with Europe for available units and lower-than-expected output. In addition to bare shop shelves, idle factories, and billions of dollars' worth of goods stalled in strained delivery networks, numerous ports were shown to be jammed. Supply and demand both started to fall after May as imports were limited as a result of Chinese lockdowns.
In the second quarter of 2022, the European zinc market had negative sentiments. Premiums remained high despite the market's decline because persistent logistics issues restrained local consumer demand. Zinc prices were notably high throughout the quarter due to a constrained supply and logistical challenges in Europe. This situation was echoed in the Italian zinc market, where premiums declined from their record high during the second week of June as a result of falling demand. On the London Metal Exchange (LME), zinc ingot prices were recorded at 3,896 USD/MT on June 1, 2022, a rise of 3.9% w-o-w from 3,750 USD/MT on May 25.
On March 16, the price in China was 24,998 RMB/MT, down 1.09% from the previous trading day's price of 25,274 RMB/MT, and up 13.40% year over year.Inventories of zinc ingots in the Shanghai futures market increased, indicating that the market's supply of zinc was adequate, and the downward pressure on the zinc market increased while the upward momentum weakened. Zinc prices are expected to fluctuate and fall in the future.
Zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) reached a new all-time high of 4,896 USD/MT earlier in March, surpassing the previous peak of 4,580 USD/MT set in 2006.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has no direct impact on zinc supply because Russian exports are negligible. However, the resulting increase in energy prices is putting additional strain on Europe's already struggling smelters. European buyers are paying record physical premiums on top of record high LME prices, indicating scarcity, which is now spreading to the North American market.
During the fourth quarter of 2021, the price trend of zinc powder in the Asia Pacific region was mixed. In November, market participants reported that supplies were still impacted in China as Beijing imposed nationwide power restrictions due to a variety of factors, including rising coal prices and the country's commitment to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, affecting zinc prices across the country. The lack of electricity heightened fears over the resumption of zinc smelters, resulting in a dramatic spike in its powder prices in the week ending November, with prices settling at 2466 USD /MT FOB Qingdao.
As zinc smelting is a large electricity consumer, the Chinese domestic market was severely hurt in Q4 by rising energy prices and power shortages in several regions. Increased price competitiveness, combined with increased onboarding operations, contributed in a drop in the prices in December, as Chinese producers destocked their stocks ahead of the year's conclusion. In India's domestic market, demand remained robust in quarter 4, outpacing the country's production rate and stockpiles. In December, CFR JNPT prices were estimated at 3942.60 USD/MT.
On the back of robust demand and limited supply, the domestic market trend for the metal in Europe shifted upward in the fourth quarter of 2021. Zinc prices soared to historic highs across Europe in mid-December, owing to supply fears after Nyrstar, a Belgium company, announced that it will close its factory in France in January due to rising energy expenses. In October recorded highest at 3696 USD/MT, and in December at 2965 USD/MT.
The market trend for the metal remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2021. Zinc prices stabilized in the month of November and settled at 3560 USD/MT CFR California. Several market participants stated that demand remained stable during the fourth quarter, while supply fundamentals strengthened as a result of improved supply chains due to strong logistics availability and fuel cost stability. The demand in the domestic market in the United States is predicted to fall in accordance with global demand, resulting in a price drop in Q1 2022.
In the last quarter of 2021, the Brazilian market was recorded at 2440 USD/MT in October, 2670 USD/MT in November, and 2780 USD/MT in December. Agriculture, construction, and the automobile industries had all witnessed significant expansion as a result of zinc’s chemical characteristics. The growing usage of hot-dip galvanization in automotive for sophisticated, high-strength steel had resulted in a growing zinc industry in Latin America.
In 2021, the Chinese market price of zinc was 3202 USD/MT in January, 3329 USD/MT in April, 3557 USD/MT in June, and 3544 USD/MT in August. During the third quarter, the Asian market saw a significant increase in zinc prices. In India, zinc prices rose again in July, bolstered by higher feedstock prices and robust demand from the local market. The demand increased dramatically after July, owing to improved market conditions following a major decrease in COVID cases in India.
In 2021, the January price in Europe was 2771 USD/MT, followed by 2807 USD/MT in April, 2984 USD/MT in June, 3006 USD/MT in August, and 2965 USD/MT in September. However, due to the limited industrial and commercial operations in Europe during the lockdown and lower plant operating rates in the first quarter, demand dropped dramatically. In the third quarter of 2021, the domestic market in Europe showed conflicting sentiments. Manufacturing companies' zinc orders decreased in September as tyre production declined across the region. Imports from China were slow in the third quarter, resulting in lower product inventories. The demand continued to decrease in September, and it was difficult to build up amid concerns about a prolonged supply disruption.
In Q1 2021, the price of the metal was 2775 USD/MT, almost 18% increase was seen from 2020. As the economy was reviving after the 2020 covid hit, the price was increasing due to the global output. However, in the midst of the subzero temperatures in the Gulf region of the United States, severe plant outages limited its usage as an intermediary from several segments. As the metallic zinc market recovered from the previous quarter, supplies were plentiful. During Q3, the general market forecast in North America showed an upward trend. Hurricane Ida disrupted manufacturing activity in August, resulting in a decline in zinc inventory levels and, as a result, a spike in zinc prices in the regional market. The consumption in the industrial rubber industry improved significantly as a result of increased market activity in September.
The Brazilian market recorded the price of zinc at 2710 USD/MT, 2830 USD/MT and 2440 USD/MT in the first three quarters of the year, respectively.
China was at the top of production during 2020 and then Australia, so the Asia-Pacific market dominated during 2020. The price dipped in Asia due to covid 19 impact, which was followed by restrictions and transportation and labour unavailability, etc. There was a 120 to 135 USD/MT drop in zinc prices. Zinc saw the biggest fall in prices among metals. Demand decreased very heavily as a result of government guidelines during the epidemic. In Asia, India produced 725.2 thousand metric tonnes, Mongolia 38.2 thousand metric tonnes, and Pakistan 37.2 thousand metric tonnes. Throughout the Asian market, 4.51 million tonnes were produced, a decrease from 2019. The spot value of the metal was 17,236.67 RMB/MT on May 19. The average price on September 27 was 19,570.00 RMB /MT, down from 20,493.33 RMB/MT on September 21, the start of the week.
Despite the rapid distribution of COVID-19 in Q4 2020, demand remained stable. The healthcare and rubber industries fueled the demand. In 2020, prices recorded in January, March, June, September, and December were at 2354, 1978, 1963, 2377, and 2750 USD/MT. Overall, zinc prices first decreased due to COVID and then increased due to the opening of the market after restrictions.
In 2020, the price of the metal in North America was estimated to be around 1.09 USD/lb. There was an overall decrease in price compared to the previous year, from 1.24 to 1.09 per pound. Multiple hurricanes disrupted supply chains, resulting in a mineral shortage across the region. Mined zinc production in Canada was expected to drop to 185,000 tonnes in 2020, down from 264,000 tonnes in 2019. In the year 2020, Canada accounted for 5% of world manufacturing.
In 2020, the global market witnessed negative growth both globally and in Latin America. There was a decline in construction activities and industrial activities. In Brazil, the average price of the metal was 2100 USD/MT. Overall, the market was volatile, and it either increased or improved in the end.
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Procurement Resource provides prices of Zinc for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
The extraction procedure of Zinc is known as smelting that can be done via two ways, that is, via pyrometallurgical process and the hydrometallurgical process or electrolysis process. This process is more common and made of four steps, which are leaching, purification, electrolysis, and melting and casting. Casting is the final process where pure Zinc is obtained from melted cathodes in a furnace.
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