According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, in 2014, global usage of refined zinc exceeded output by some 296,000 tonnes, with Bloomberg Intelligence believing it could rise to 1.98 million tonnes by 2017.
In 2014, while world refined zinc consumption rose 6.5 percent, China, which accounted for some 46.5 percent of total refined zinc consumption, increased its apparent consumption by 11.7 percent.
Depending on who you ask, there are, as so often, different answers to just how zinc is used in China.
China Zinc Demand 2014 (Teck)
Chinese end use 2014 (Nyrstar)
But what is really important is that, for the next several years anyway, despite continuing demand growth ex-China, the country is expected to remain the driving force behind global zinc consumption. (The Australian Government projects China’s zinc consumption as increasing by 5 percent a year to 8.5 million tons in 2020.)
Growth in consumption, particularly in the emerging market countries, is expected to be powered by the increased utilization of galvanized steel in both automobiles and infrastructure.