Markets - April 2017

Zinc Market Expected to Grow for Next Five Years

According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global zinc market is projected to grow to 19.68 million metric tons (mt) by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of close to 4% over the forecast period. This research report titled Global Zinc Market 2017-2021 provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up-to-date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

The report categorizes the global zinc market into four segments, based on application: galvanizing, alloys and castings, brass and bronze, and other applications. “Galvanizing is the largest application segment of the global zinc market, generating more than 48% of the overall revenue,” said Ajay Adikari, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research. “The major offerings of the segment include galvanized painted GP and galvanized coated GC steel products, galvanized structural steel products, both light and heavy, and galvanized steel wires.”

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Markets - March 2017

Cobalt Prices Surge on Investor Buying

Cobalt prices broke out in February climbing to $51,250/metric ton (mt) from $37,750/mt, a 35.8% increase, according the E&MJ Price Index. With the exception of lead, which was down 2.7% for the month, prices for other metals improved modestly with single-digit percentage gains. At the end of December 2016, E&MJ reported cobalt prices of $32,900/mt or $14.95/lb. Since then, the metal has climbed to $23.70/lb, a 58.5% increase in value in two months. So, what’s up with cobalt?

The price increase is tied to investor hoarding in anticipation of increased demand related to electric vehicles, according to Reuters and the CRU Group, who said electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million by 2021 and more than 6 million by 2025, from 1.1 million last year. By 2020, 75% of lithium-ion batteries will contain cobalt, whose properties allow electric cars to extend their range between charges, according to eCobalt Solutions, which produces battery-grade cobalt salts.

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Despite the Soft Market, Silver Remains in Deficit

At the Annual Silver Industry Dinner hosted by the Silver Institute in mid-November, Johann Wiebe, senior analyst in the GFMS team at Thomson Reuters, presented the GFMS/Silver Institute Interim Silver Market Review, which included provisional supply and demand forecasts for 2016.

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Metal Prices Finish Strong

At the beginning of 2016, metals markets were searching for direction as far as prices. Many miners who were completing optimization programs in 2015 as margins were dwindling were hoping the direction would be up and their prayers were answered in 2016. While knocking on wood, E&MJ can report, as of press time, the mining industry has noted a positive change in prices with cautious optimism, wondering if it’s a flash in the pan or a truly strengthening market fundamental.

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