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by Tom Dyson shows how bad the worldwide zinc crisis is already, ahead of some major mine closings in coming years. Here's the zinc discussion from the article:
The world is out of zinc...
I’m not joking. All industrial metals are scarce right now, but none are as scarce as zinc. There simply isn’t any available.
I learned this yesterday on the golf course. Chris Hancock specializes in Asia. He is the author of a publication called the Asia Strategy Report. We were paired together in a corporate golf outing. While contemplating my approach shot to the sixteenth green, Chris started talking about zinc…
Kohler Inc. is a huge manufacturing conglomerate, best known for making bathroom fittings like sinks, latrines and faucets. They coat their products with zinc to stop corrosion.
“I was just in Hong Kong,” Chris told me, “and while I was there, I met up with a friend of mine who’s the manager of several Kohler plants in China. He told me they’re having trouble with zinc… they can’t find it anywhere.”
Chris continued: “At first I didn’t pay much attention. But then at dinner that night, I sat next to a guy from my MBA class. He’s an investment banker with UBS Warburg. He says all the traders at Warburg are buying zinc like crazy and that the zinc price is about to run. But get this...
On the plane back from Shanghai, we start chatting to the lady in the seat next to us. It turns out she manages a plant in Chicago for one of the large office supply retailers. She said she’d been in China visiting factories. We told her we had been doing the same thing. We asked her how her trip went - if she’d had any problems sourcing materials for her plant – and she told us she did. She couldn’t get hold of any zinc!”
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