International Zinc Conference Highlights Positive Market Outlook for Zinc

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Analysts point to strong fundamentals in positive zinc market forecasts

Globally, zinc demand is growing and we see growth in new zinc applications such as fertilizers and galvanized rebar, die castings and expanding galvanized sheet use in the automotive sector in China and India.

Speakers at IZA’s 2016 International Zinc Conference held on February 21-24 in Scottsdale, Arizona forecast a very positive outlook for the zinc market.

Presentations covering zinc market dynamics were given by IZA Chairman Rodrigo Daud (Votorantim Metais), Vivienne Lloyd (Macquarie), Graham Deller (CRU International), Chris Parker (Wood Mackenzie), Duncan Hobbs (Noble Group) and Don Smale (International Lead Zinc Study Group), among others. Speakers pointed to the closure of MMG’s Century mine in Australia and Vedanta’s Lisheen mine in Ireland, along with production cutbacks from Glencore, Nyrstar and others. These closures and production cutbacks amount to over 1 million tonnes of zinc and there is no significant new mine production coming on line to replace this tonnage in the short-term.

Most analysts were in agreement that the metal’s fundamentals are strong. It is expected that the cuts in zinc mine production will impact the market through drawdown of zinc stocks, which in turn may impact LME prices. Analysts differed on the timing and speed at which these drawdowns would occur, but generally agreed that zinc demand would continue to improve globally. Some believe the impact will be felt in the second half of 2016 while some others thought early 2017.

IZA Executive Director Stephen Wilkinson concurs with this positive outlook for zinc and stated: “The zinc market remains strong and it is notable to see most of the analysts in concurrence with this positive outlook. Globally, zinc demand is growing and we see growth in new zinc applications such as fertilizers and galvanized rebar, die castings and expanding galvanized sheet use in the automotive sector in China and India. When fully realized, these initiatives are expected to have an impact of up to 1 million tonnes of zinc.”

The 2016 International Zinc and Zinc Oxide Conferences were attended by over 300 representatives from zinc mining, refining, end users and related industry and government organizations.
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