Zinc Market Update (August 24, 2012)

Zinc prices jumped early this week after reports from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed a more than 150,000 tonne surplus in markets for the first half of the year.

Falling confidence in European, US and Chinese manufacturing growth has tempered expectations of a demand-side correction to the current imbalance in international refined zinc markets.

The price of refined zinc crept just above the US$1,800/tonne mark at the beginning of the week, only slightly higher than previous lows hit earlier this summer. Prices moved up to $1,856.50 for LME refined zinc midday Thursday, a 1.19 percent increase on the day.

In previous weeks, investor confidence in the metal, which is used to galvanize steel for industrial and manufacturing purposes, has advanced in anticipation of potential monetary easing in the US and China. Optimism about the likelihood of an extended timeline for the approval of Greece’s proposed budget program has also helped boost zinc market prices, but the market continues to battle deflated demand.