The global refined zinc market was in a 305,000 mt deficit of metal for the first nine months of 2018, while total inventories fell by 64,000 mt over the period, according to preliminary data compiled by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group released Wednesday.
ILZSG noted that Chinese trade data for the months through April to September are unavailable and estimates have been made where necessary. When actual trade figures are released it is likely global figures will be updated.
Global mine production increased by 1.2%, ILZSG said, due to increases in Australia, Peru and the US, while Europe saw a rise of 3.2% mainly due to increases in Finland, Greece, Ireland and Macedonia that offset lower outputs from Poland and Sweden. ILZSG added that in 2018 Canada, China, India and Mexico production output was lower compared to the first nine months of 2017.
Meanwhile higher refined zinc production in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Norway and Peru were partially balanced by decreases seen by China and India which resulted in a global 0.6% rise, ILZSG said.
A small 0.3% reduction in global usage of refined zinc metal was mainly influenced by decreases in apparent demand in China, South Africa and Taiwan. In Europe usage increased by 1.3%, influenced by rises in Belgium, France, Poland and the Russian Federation that more than offset reductions in apparent usage in Germany and Italy,” ILZSG said.