Mining News

Zinc price jumps as Glencore cuts production in Italy

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Zinc price rose on Monday as Glencore Plc announced it’s preparing to shut down production in Italy.

The Portovesme line, which can produce 100,000 tonnes of zinc sulphide a year, will be put on care and maintenance by the end of next month.

The decision to close the plant follows a sharp increase in power prices in Italy and the rest of Europe, Glencore said.

Zinc prices rose as much as 3.4% to $3,349.50 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange, the biggest gain in a month. 

Zinc production had already been hit hard, with supply cuts announced by Trafigura Group, Nyrstar and Glencore sending prices surging 13% in October. 

Click here for an interactive chart of zinc prices

Global zinc production is estimated at about 14 million tonnes this year, with about half of that expected to come from China, the world’s largest producer.

The metal is mainly used to galvanise steel or iron – that is, to apply a zinc coating to stop it rusting. Galvanised steel is used in buildings, cars, white goods and electronics. 

Fitch Solutions forecasts an average zinc price of $2,600 per tonne in 2021.

“The global production surplus that emerged in 2020 should persist into the medium term, and the resulting increase of zinc inventories should gradually drag prices lower,” the analyst said in a recent report.

(With files from Reuters)

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email