Global Zinc Market Predicted to Have a Surplus of 367,000 tn in 2024

Global Zinc Market Predicted to Have a Surplus of 367,000 tn in 2024

Latest Forecasts Reveal Impact of China’s Production

The global market for refined zinc is projected to experience a surplus of 367,000 tn in 2024, a significant increase from the 248,000 tn surplus expected in 2023. This surplus is primarily attributed to a notable increase in China’s output, according to the latest forecast from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group.

Zinc Production and Consumption Trends

The Study Group anticipates global refined zinc production to increase by 3.3% to 14.3 mln tn in 2024, with a 3.7% growth expected for 2023, reaching 13.84 mln tn. On the consumption side, global demand is estimated to grow by 2.5% to 13.93 mln tn in 2024, and by 1.1% to 13.59 mln tn in the prior year.

China’s significant role in the 2023 zinc production growth is emphasized, with a projected growth of 6.7% for the year, and a 4.1% increase in 2024. Moreover, growth in refined zinc production is also influenced by expansions in Australia and Norway. Notably, the Odda smelter in Norway is gearing up for its expansion completion by the latter half of 2024.

European Dynamics and China’s Demand

After witnessing a double-digit decrease in 2022, Europe’s production is expected to drop an additional 2.6% in 2023, due to a slump in Germany’s production. This drop will be offset slightly by anticipated increases in countries like France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain.

China, the world’s largest zinc consumer, is projected to see its demand rise by 3% in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024, owing to a 12.1% increase in galvanized plate production during the first seven months of this year. Simultaneously, the nation observed a rise in the manufacturing of passenger cars and home appliances, while the real estate sector remains stagnant.

Europe’s zinc demand might see a decline this year, affected by reduced demand from nations like Germany, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and the UK. However, increased demand from Italy and Norway might balance this out slightly.

Global Consumption Patterns and Mine Supply

The group highlighted that consumption growth is evident in countries like India, Saudi Arabia, and the US. In contrast, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey are predicted to witness a dip in demand.

For 2024, an upward trend in demand is forecasted for Europe, India, Japan, Korea, the US, and Vietnam.

On the mine supply front, global zinc mine supply is expected to grow minimally by 0.1% to 12.43 mln tn in 2023 and then see a more substantial rise of 3.9% to 12.91 mln tn in 2024.

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