Japan Official Zinc Price Increases by 14,000 Yen/ Tonne

Mitsui Mining & Smelting announced on Monday that it increased the official zinc ingot price by 14,000 yen to 327,000 yen per tonne for domestic shipment in February. The price is the highest level after 330,000 yen on May 11 in 1990 under higher offshore price and lower yen rate. The indicative spot zinc price increased by US$ 3 to US$ 2,358 per tonne at settlement of London Metal Exchange (LME) on Friday. Speculators bought the metals under the strong price moves of copper, lead, zinc and aluminium under tight supply of metals, of which especially zinc supply is very tight due to higher demand and limited expansion of the mining. The LME zinc price renewed the record high after the shift to dollar base contract for 2 consecutive trading days. The cheaper yen and strong US dollar supports the rise of official zinc price. The foreign exchange rate of yen decreased to 119.80 yen per US dollar on Monday at telegraphic transferring selling rate from 118.32 yen on February 1 due to wider interest rate gaps between Japan and USA after the Federal Open Market Committee increased the interest rate by 0.25 percentage points last week. Japanese official zinc price increased to 307,000 yen per tonne by January 26 due to higher offshore price and lower yen rate after the price started the year at 269,000 yen per tonne. The price increased by total 22% to the date from the beginning of the year.