Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News
SMM: At the beginning of the week, domestic social zinc inventories reached 218.1 kt, up 3.3 kt from last Friday and up 5.7 kt from last Monday. With downstream producers returning to normal operations after the Chinese New Year holiday, social zinc inventories at Shanghai, Guangdong and Tianjin lifted slightly despite a slower growth than before the holiday. Operational rates of downstream zinc smelters are likely to increase in March; however, the ongoing 13th NPC meeting and air pollution have limited the operation of some zinc-plated steel producers in Northern China. Starting from 4th March, some zinc-plated steel producers at Handan, Hebei suspended part of their operations, affecting daily output at approximately 15 kt; and the date for resumption is unclear. Also some zinc-plated steel producers at Tianjin were stipulated to curb operations by 50% in late February due to severer air pollution. On the whole, downstream operational rates are likely to increase moderately in March, but environmental issues are going to limit the growth and consequently weigh on consumptions.