(19 March 2021) In December 2020, Zinc prices rose to the highest level since April 2019, boosted by concerns over falling Chinese production while hopes for a US stimulus deal buoyed market sentiment. Satellite analytics from RS Metrics show that the zinc output of monitored Chinese smelters dropped by 17% M-O-M in December. Supply constraints have helped fuel a 46% rebound in zinc prices from a March 2020 low even as demand took a hit due to the pandemic.

Iron ore prices reached a ten-year high of $160 per tonne by the middle of December. Demand growth, particularly in China, is driving the increase in the cost of raw material. Supply constraints in Brazil have also tightened the market. Iron ore inventory at port storage facilities in Brazil monitored by RS Metrics dropped by 20% M-O-M in December.

RS Metrics MetalSignals monitors production, inventory levels, and activity level of 500+ global smelter, storage, and production facilities, most of them on a weekly basis. Charts below display the global, regional, and country-level inventory levels over 2019 and 2020.

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