February Zinc Price Forecast: Smelter Idles in Face of Low Zinc Prices

Adobe Stock/ Björn Wylezich
Adobe Stock/ Björn Wylezich

Horsehead Holding recently announced that it temporarily will be halting production at its North Carolina zinc smelter due, in part, to seven-year-low zinc prices and liquidity problems, according to a recent report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Several banks have already given Horsehead temporary relief on their loan agreements despite having the ability to demand immediate payment of more than $15 million under the loan terms, the newspaper stated.

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“The company is unable to predict the outcome of these or any future discussions and its review of its various alternatives,” Horsehead stated in a securities filing last month.

The Moorseboro, N.C., smelter operated by Horsehead has been trying to ramp up production, but it hasn’t exactly gone as planned, forcing the company to hemorrhage money while zinc prices fell. Horsehead announced the smelter produced 2,200 tons of zinc in December, less than what it produced in June 2014, which was its first month of production, the Post-Gazette reported.

February Zinc: A Different Story

This month has seen zinc — along with lead and tin — react to a turbulent dollar and make a particularly strong turn. Our own Raul de Frutos wrote: “So far, the moves seem like normal price reactions after previous declines. Whether the upward moves will continue or not will significantly depend on the fate of the dollar.”

You can find a more in-depth zinc price forecast and outlook in our brand new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report. For a short- and long-term buying strategy with specific price thresholds:

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