Zinc price soars as power crunch forces Nyrstar to idle French plant

Image courtesy of Nyrstar

Zinc prices jumped more than 5% on Thursday on supply concerns after Nyrstar said it would shutter its plant in France from January due to soaring power prices.

The plant, which also produces lead, is the latest to fall victim to higher gas prices, including Glencore’s Portovesme plant and some of Nyrstar’s other European operations.

Elevated electricity costs caused by a wholesale power crunch this year have forced industries from zinc to steel to curtail production.

Nyrstar has the capacity to produce 720,000 tonnes of zinc in Europe, metals industry sources say.

Benchmark three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had jumped 5.7% to $3 455 per tonne by 17:40 GMT, its highest since Oct. 25.

“Power prices, already at historically high levels across Europe, have continued to rise in recent weeks in France, in excess of neighboring European countries,” Nystar said, adding that electricity prices could stay high and volatile in early 2022.

(By Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)


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