Zinc (Zn), zinc chemical element, a low-melting metal of Group 12 (IIb, or zinc group) of the periodic table, that is essential to life and is one of the most widely used metals. Zinc is of considerable commercial importance.

Occurrence, uses, and properties

A little more abundant than copper, zinc makes up an average of 65 grams (2.3 ounces) of every ton of Earth’s crust. The chief zinc mineral is the sulfide sphalerite (zinc blende), which, together with its oxidation products smithsonite and hemimorphite, constitute nearly all of the world’s zinc ore. Native zinc has been reported from AustraliaNew Zealand, and the United States, and the leading early 21st-century producers of zinc are ChinaAustralia and Peru.

Supply and Demand 2023 & 2024

Zinc Outlook for 2023 and 2024 from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)


- After a fall of 4.3% in 2022, global demand for refined zinc is forecast to rise by 1.1% to
13.59 million tonnes in 2023 and by 2.5% to 13.93 million tonnes in 2024.
- In China, following a significant decline in 2022, it is anticipated that usage will recover by
3% this year. After falling by 12% in 2022, galvanised plate output in China increased by
12.1% over the first seven months of this year. The production of passenger cars and
home appliances have also risen over the same period, however investment in the real
estate sector has remained depressed. In 2024, a growth of 1.2% in Chinese zinc demand
is anticipated.
- European demand is predicted to fall by 1.8% in 2023, mainly influenced by decreases in
Germany, Poland, the Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom, that will partially be
balanced by anticipated increases in Italy and Norway. Elsewhere, zinc usage is forecast
to rise in India, Saudi Arabia and the United States but to decline in Brazil, Japan, Taiwan
(China), Thailand and Türkiye.
- In 2024, usage is anticipated to rise in Europe, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the
United States and Vietnam.


- After rising by only 0.1% to 12.43 million tonnes in 2023, world zinc mine production is
forecast to increase by 3.9% to 12.91 million tonnes in 2024.
- In 2023, rises are predicted in China, India, Mongolia, Peru and the Russian Federation,
where the new Ozerneoye mine, with a capacity of 350,000 tonne per year, is expected
to be commissioned before the end of the year.
- However, these anticipated increases will be largely offset by reductions in Australia,
Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Canada, Sweden and Ireland, where Boliden’s Tara mine was placed
on care and maintenance in June.

- In 2024, substantial increases in Australia and the Russian Federation will be the main
driver of the forecast rise in mine production. Output is also predicted to increase in
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China and Mexico, but to decline in Ireland, the United
States and Portugal, mainly as a consequence of the recent suspension of activities at the
110,000 tonne per year Aljustrel operation.
- Global refined zinc metal production is forecast to rise by 3.7% to 13.84 million tonnes in
2023, and by 3.3% to 14.30 million tonnes in 2024. This will primarily be a result of a
substantial increase in China, where output that is expected to grow by 6.7% and 4.1% in
2023 and 2024 respectively.
- After falling by 11.6% in 2022, production in Europe is anticipated to decline by a further
2.6% this year. This will mainly be a consequence of a predicted reduction in Germany
that will more than balance forecast increases in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the
Russian Federation and Spain.
- In 2024, output in the world ex-China will benefit from anticipated robust growth in
Australia and Norway, where an expansion at the Odda smelter is expected to be
completed over the second half of the year.
World Refined Zinc Metal Balance
- Regarding the global market balance, the Group anticipates that global supply of refined
zinc metal will exceed demand in both 2023 and 2024 with the extent of the surpluses
forecast at 248,000 tonnes and 367,000 tonnes respectively.


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