Japan Official Zinc Price Raised by 21,000 yen/t

Mitsui Mining & Smelting announced on Monday it raised the official zinc ingot price by 21,000 yen to 334,000 yen per tonne for domestic shipment in March. When zinc spot price at London Metal Exchange (LME) marked the record since the LME transaction shifted from pound-based to dollar-based, the price exceeded former record of 330,000 yen on May 11, 1990. The monthly averaged price increased to 319,300 yen. Zinc settlement price at LME surged by US$ 130.5 to US$ 2,462.5 per tonne on Friday, exceeding US$ 2,391 of the highest price marked on February 7, 2006. World zinc ingot production is short against the strong demand and the supply is very tight. Speculative fund money continuously flows into the zinc market under the situation.LME zinc inventories decreased by 3,350 tonnes to 305,525 tonnes on Friday from the previous day. The supply is likely to maintain tight and some sources indicate the LME zinc inventory could decrease to less than 100,000 tonnes toward the end of 2006.