NEW YORK Zinc supply exceeded demand by 265,000 tonnes in 2012, the sixth year in a row the market has been in surplus, according to data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
Inventory levels increased by 426,000 tonnes, with global warehouses holding nearly 2.2 million tonnes of refined zinc. The London Metal Exchange held 1.2 million tonnes of that last year, of which 65.5 percent was stored in New Orleans, the Lisbon, Portugal-based organization said.
Global zinc metal production fell 3.5 percent to 12.7 million tonnes in 2012 from 13.1 million tonnes in 2011, while global zinc metal usage fell 2.8 percent to 12.4 million tonnes from 12.8 million tonnes in the same comparison.
Lead supply also exceeded demand in 2012 by 64,000 tonnes, ILZSG data show.
Lead metal production last year stayed largely in line with the previous year, at 10.62 million tonnes compared with 10.59 million tonnes in 2011, as lead metal usage rose 1.3 percent to 10.6 million tonnes in 2012 from 10.4 million tonnes in 2011.