Commodities Buzz: World Zinc Market Stabilising

Mining and smelting company Nyrstar has said that zinc processing fees have been cut for 2018 in light of falling supply.There is a sign that the market for the Zinc metal is stabilising and while there could be a little more oomph in zinc a return to higher prices could also be a trap for investors betting on a return to near-boom conditions. Signs of a rebound to more balanced conditions can be seen in the way the price has moved and can also be seen in the price-setting for treatment charges (TC) negotiated between miners and smelters.

Mining companies pay treatment charges to have zinc concentrate processed in refineries. But as supply of the metal falls, smelters are lowering their charges to attract miners. According to Nyrstar, the zinc industry has agreed on a benchmark cut in treatment charges of 15 percent, down to US$ 147 per dry metric tonne from US$ 172.

The company reported that its metals processing facilities produced approximately 252,000 tonnes of zinc in Q1 2018, down from 261,000 tonnes in Q1 2017, with four of its five smelters decreasing production. Total zinc production at the companys smelters fell 3 percent.