Global zinc short-term outlook December 2021
For the third consecutive month, the most important developments in the zinc market have revolved around smelters and the refined market. In December, Nyrstar, majority-owned by Trafigura, announced that it will be idling its Auby smelter next month. The company cited high power prices, and expectations that power prices will remain high. The Auby news spurred the price higher to $3465/t, a significant uplift, but still below October's peak. The news followed last months' announcement by Glencore that it will place its Portovesme smelter on care and maintenance. The idling of the two smelters effectively cuts the supply of primary refined zinc to the European market by around 13%. Europe's visible stocks of refined zinc stand at just 2kt. This lack of alternative supply is reflected in spot premiums which have shifted higher around the world.