EDITOR’S NOTE


Zinc & lead is bullish; New policies to rejuvenate recycling

It is safe to say that the value of the base metal zinc will never diminish as long as industrial projects are being engineered all over this planet. From the rise of skyscrapers, the need for tough material to keep water flowing and streaming into the pipelines, to batteries of appliances and devices of all shapes and sizes—all these elements that are part of the modern lifestyle—need zinc to preserve their structures and keep their operations running.

Moreover, the demand for zinc has never abated, in contrast to that of the more glamorous gold or shiny silver, the value of which still depends on the health of the dollar and the fluctuations of the market. A quick look at mining industry analysts and stock market reports in 2017, all say the same thing: zinc’s value has risen the past few years and will continue to remain bullish for the rest of 2018. By the end of 2017, Investing News Network reported that zinc soared by over 21 percent despite having a slow ascent. The metal reached its peak in October when it reached $3,369.50, and the rally was made possible by the “strong Chinese demand outlook and concerns over zinc supply.

Now, coming to the supply side, according to a recent forecast, the global refined zinc metal production will receive a 3.9 percent hike this year, arriving at 14.06 million tonne. On the other hand, few analysts stated that an estimated 775,000 tonne will be mined in 2018. These factors would be enough for investors to keep an eye on the said metal. Should the perception persist or be proven true, then there is a good chance that zinc’s bullishness will last well beyond this year and continue up to perhaps 2020.

Besides lead and zinc, there is another market which need immediate attention especially in India, which is the metal recycling. The leading voice of the metal recyclers- MRAI has once again reiterated that there is an urgent need for introducing a policy for metal recycling industry in India. They expect the government to implement norms and standards at par with that existing in developed countries like the US, UK and Europe. At the same time they also believe that the government may not put stringent norms and standards on recycling of scrap as India is a developing country. 

The other important development for the recyclers in India is that the country will soon come out with a policy to scrap vehicles that are more than 15 years old. The policy aims at curbing rising vehicular pollution in the country. The government have almost finalized the scrapping policy for vehicles which makes mandatory for vehicles completing 

15 years to be scrapped.  In the words of Union Minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari, India is bound to become the hub for automobile industry and the prices were bound to be cheaper as scrap could be used for production of autoparts among other things. “Raw material for vehicles will be cheaper - steel, plastic, rubber, aluminium and copper – all generated from scrap will be used for autopart generation.

Earlier, the Road, Transport and Highways Ministry had sent a concept note on Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme (V-VMP) to the Committee of Secretaries on creating an ecosystem for voluntary scrapping and replacement of old polluting vehicles. The V-VMP policy proposes to take 28 million decade-old vehicles off the road. In a nutshell, when the law becomes a reality, it will completely overhaul the entire recycling ecosystem in the country.