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Economic Issues & Market Analysis Brief: Metal Casting - Zinc

Demand for zinc in brass and bronze increased by an annual average of almost 5% between 1993 and 1998, ensuring a secure and growing market for zinc. Demand for galvanized steel will continue to stimulate growth in the zinc industry. However, in 2001 the price of zinc on the London Metal Exchange reached its lowest level in over a decade.

U.S. mine production greatly exceeded smelter capacity, necessitating exports of concentrate. More than one-third of all concentrate exports, which was supplied entirely by the Red Dog Mine in Alaska, was processed at the Trail smelter in Canada; the remaining two-thirds went mainly to Asian smelters. The United States is the world's largest exporter of zinc concentrates; it is also the largest importer of zinc metal.