Production of zinc in 2021 is forecast to grow by 2.9pc to 13.99mn mt, says UGMK, a Russia-based copper and zinc producer. Zinc consumption is forecast to increase by 4.2pc to 13.52mn units. Global zinc surplus in 2021 would shrink as consumption is expected to outpace production, explains the company in their report on zinc.
US Geological Survey released their data stating that zinc production in 2020 stood at 12mn mt, down 5.51pc from 2019 levels.
Global production is forecast to rise on robust growth in China and Australia followed by France and USA. Chinese factories are likely to increase production given strong domestic demand. This will drive demand for raw material, including zinc concentrate. Zinc concentration production in China is gradually declining and the country could increase imported.
In the end of 2020, Glencore cut production at its Kazakhstan unit by 3pc to around 168,000mt and low production at Tishinsky mine. India’s Hindustan Zinc production was flat at around 720mt, almost flat from the year prior.
COVID-19 affected zinc intake in 2020 in most countries barring China’s consumption which however increased by 1.1pc to almost 6.1mn mt. Zinc consumption in Europe and Russia dipped 7pc but is expected to better in 2021 and consumption is set to rise 6.5pc for Europe.
Zinc in Russia
At the end of 2020, production in Russia jumped almost 2pc to 211,800mt from 2019 levels. Imports of zinc in 2020 decreased 30pc to about 34,900mt. Russia imported zinc mostly from Kazakhstan which accounted for 81pc of total imports while 17pc was imported from Uzbekistan. Imports from Kazakhstan has however fallen by 25pc to 28,200mt while imports from Uzbekistan grew 14pc to 6,100mt.
Russia exported around 14,700mt in 2020 and has more than doubled since the prior year. Most exports were headed to Spain and Netherlands. 57pc was exported to Netherlands and 34pc to Spain.
Russia’s consumption in 2020 decreased 7pc to 232,000mt. Main consuming sectors in the country suffered amid the pandemic with lower production activities which resulted in the decline in overall consumption.
Gradual recovery in expected in Russia in 2021-2023 with the implementation of new projects in the main sectors that consume zinc including galvanized steel rolled and hot-dipped galvanized steel. Zinc consumption is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels of around 250,000mt.