Steel Products

Zinc Spot Prices Up 18%

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

SMU has noticed a rise in zinc prices on in the spot market over the past six months. Zinc is used as the anti-corrosion coating for galvanized steel. Over the past six months, Zinc spot pricing on the LME hit a low around $0.82 per pound at the end of October and rose to $0.95 per pound by early January then to $0.98 per pound as of February 12—an 18 percent jump during that time frame. This is still in-line with where prices were when the domestic mills last raised their coating extras during the Fall 2010 (taking effect at the beginning of the year 2011 in many cases). However, we are closing in on the high end of the range and galvanized steel buyers should be aware that spot prices are rising. Not included in our calculations are the “premiums” charged to the mills by their suppliers to deliver the zinc and for their margins.



When pricing is viewed over the past five years , we see a high of around $1.28 in 2008 followed by a 61 percent tumble to $0.50 per pound in June of 2009 then back up to 1.20 per pound in January 2010. Other than a drop in early June 2012 to around $0.70 per pound, prices were between $1.00 -$1.15 per pound from mid 2010 through 2011. Spot prices dropped to the $0.80 – $0.90 per pound range in late 2011 and stayed that way through 2012.


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