NANJING, China Chinese smelters should beware of
rising capacity in recycled lead and zinc, an official of the
China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) said at the
2012 China Lead and Zinc Conference in Nanjing.
Output of recycled lead will account for about 35
percent of Chinas total lead output in 2012, while
recycled zinc output has also posted a decent increase,
Peng Tao, executive vice secretary-general of CNIAs lead
and zinc branch, told delegates.
Chinas recycled lead output rose 15.7 percent year on
year to 1.03 million tonnes in the first nine months of the
year. During the same period, primary lead output rose by 8.2
percent to 2.49 million tonnes, according to data from Antaike
Information Development Co. Ltd.
Recycled zinc production could reach 800,000 tonnes this
year, with an annual capacity of about 1 million tonnes, Peng
This would represent a sharp increase from about 630,000
tonnes of recycled zinc output in 2011, according to data from
the recycled metals branch of CNIA, which noted that recycled
zinc currently accounts for about 11 percent of Chinas
total refined zinc output vs. a global average ratio of about
The rising recycling capacity not only poses challenges to
local smelters, but also will eventually impact Chinas
appetite for concentrate imports amid limited growth in
Output of local (zinc concentrate) miners and recycled
zinc have almost satisfied local consumption (this year),
Antaike chief analyst Feng Juncong said at the conference.
Thus far in 2012, Chinas monthly imports of zinc
concentrate have been below 200,000 tonnes. July imports were
as low as 111,000 tonnes, the lowest since February 2007,
according to Chinese customs data.
A version of this article was first published by AMM
sister publication Metal Bulletin.