"On a macro-scale, zinc continues to display the strongest short-term fundamentals of all the base metals (perhaps with the exception of lead, of which we also produce significant quantities). Global zinc mine closures have been accelerating however the full impact of well documented concentrate supply constraints has yet to be felt. LME zinc warehouse drawdown rates have recently increased to almost double its normal pace while spot treatment charges have been dropping in conjunction with announced smelter closures globally, suggestive of a tightening zinc concentrate market. Given Trevali's strong zinc exposure and leverage, the Company is well positioned to crystallize value from strengthening in zinc (and lead) prices going forward."
- Zn Revisit: Zinc TCs trending lower on tighter supply (lowest since September 2014): Zinc TCs, the discounts on refined prices miners grant to smelters to cover the cost of turning concentrate into metal, slipped to $170-180 per tonne from $175-185 at the end of November on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis for delivery to Chinese ports - the lowest since September 2014 and down from $185-195 in October. Market participants are saying that some Chinese smelters are buying at TCs of $165 to $175/t for standard grade material. Many didn’t expect TCs to drop this quickly, thinking that the production cuts we have been reading about take hold next year but TCs now are reflecting tighter supply already. Recall that Nyrstar will put its Middle Tennessee Mines (MTN) in the US on care and maintenance due to depressed metal prices, which will translate into 50,000 tonnes per year of zinc-in-concentrate being taken out of the market. This follows the planned suspension of 400,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate in addition to the 100,000 tonnes removed by the Myra Falls and Campo Morado suspensions. As well, Glencore has slashed annual zinc production by 500,000 tonnes, cutting around 100,000 tonnes of contained zinc metal in the fourth quarter alone. Chinese domestic supply has also tightened as some medium-sized miners have closed due to low prices. Some market participants are saying that Chinese smelters are operating at around 80 percent of capacity in November.