- Zinc (chemical symbol- Zn) is a bluish white lustrous metal.
- It is normally covered with a white coating on exposure to the atmosphere.
- Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use, behind iron, aluminium and copper in terms of annual production.
- Zinc can be recycled indefinitely, without loss of its physical or chemical properties.
- It is present in a wide variety of foods, particularly in association with protein foods.
Demand and Supply Scenario:
- The rise in world zinc mine production in 2010 (8.8% compared with 2009) was primarily influenced by higher output in Australia, China, India, Mexico and the Russian Federation.
- Global refined zinc metal production rose by a significant 13.3% in 2010, as much of the capacity suspended in 2009 was brought back on stream. In addition to a further rise of 18.5% in Chinese output, notable increases were recorded in Belgium, Brazil, India, Peru, the Russian Federation, the USA and Uzbekistan.
- Global output of refined zinc metal exceeded usage by 264,000 MT; the fourth successive year that the market has been in surplus.
- After a sharp decline in 2009 caused by the economic crisis, world usage of refined zinc metal rebounded by 15.6% in 2010, surpassing 12 million MT for the first time.
- The rise in refined zinc in 2010 was driven mainly by further growth in Chinese apparent demand of 13.3% and a recovery in European usage of 29.3%. Other contributing factors included increases in Brazil, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
- Major refined zinc exporting countries are Canada, Australia and Rep. of Korea, while major refined zinc importing countries are China, USA and Germany.
- India’s refined zinc production was 646,000 MT in 2009, an increase of around 8%-9% from the previous year.
- Consumption of refined zinc in India reached 512,000 MT in 2009, an increase of 20.8% from 2008.
- lndia’s per capita zinc consumption is at a meager 0.4kg, among the lowest in the world.
- The principal use of zinc in the Indian market is in the galvanizing sector, which currently accounts for an estimated 70% of the total production.
Factors Influencing the Market:
- Zinc prices in India are fixed on the basis of the rates that rule on the international spot market, and Rupee and US Dollar exchange rates.
- Economic events such as national industrial growth, global financial crisis, recession, and inflation affect commodity-specific events such as the metal prices.
- Construction of new production facilities or processes, new uses or the discontinuance of historical uses, unexpected mine or plant closures (natural disaster, supply disruption, accident, strike, and so forth), or industry restructuring, all affect metal prices.
- Governments set trade policy (implementation or suspension of taxes, penalties, and quotas) that affect supply by regulating (restricting or encouraging) material flow.
- Geopolitical events involving governments or economic paradigms and armed conflict can cause major changes.
- There is also a national economic growth factor. Societies, as they develop, demand metals in a way that depends on their current economic position.