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May 19, 2024

Zinc Demand in India Poised to Double in Next 5-10 Years: Industry Insights

The demand for zinc in India is projected to double over the next five to ten years, driven by significant investments in the infrastructure sector, particularly in steel, according to the International Zinc Association (IZA). The growth of the steel market is a crucial factor influencing zinc demand, as zinc is primarily used to galvanize steel, providing essential protection against corrosion.

“I foresee a doubling of zinc demand in the next five to ten years,” stated Martin Van Leeuwen, Global Director of the International Zinc Association, in a recent interview. He emphasized that the current market for primary and refined zinc in India, which stands at approximately 800 to 1,000 tonnes per annum, has substantial growth potential given the rapid infrastructure developments in the country.

India’s infrastructure boom, with significant investments in expanding steel capacity, underscores the critical role of zinc. The burgeoning steel industry necessitates increased protection through galvanized coatings, leading to heightened zinc consumption. “We observe extensive plans and investments in new galvanizing lines,” Van Leeuwen noted, highlighting the promising future for zinc in India.

Despite the optimistic outlook, zinc consumption in India remains relatively low. Per capita consumption is around 0.5 kg, significantly below the global average of 4 kg per capita. In more developed regions such as Korea, Europe, and the United States, per capita consumption ranges between 6 to 7 kg. “To put it in perspective, India’s zinc usage is a fraction of what is observed globally,” Van Leeuwen explained, underscoring the substantial room for growth in the Indian market.

Looking ahead to 2024, the shift towards green energy presents significant opportunities for zinc. The global transition to renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy, relies heavily on zinc. These technologies require extensive zinc use for protecting steel supports and wind towers, particularly those located offshore. “The energy transition offers fantastic prospects for zinc,” Van Leeuwen remarked. “Investments in solar PV and wind energy are on the rise, with zinc playing a critical role in safeguarding these installations.”

Zinc’s protective properties are indispensable in green energy infrastructure. Solar PV systems and wind turbines require robust protection to withstand environmental challenges, with zinc-coated steel supports ensuring longevity and durability. This demand is expected to further boost zinc consumption as India and the world pivot towards sustainable energy solutions.

In summary, India’s zinc demand is set to experience a substantial increase over the next decade, fueled by large-scale infrastructure investments and the growing steel industry. Despite currently low per capita consumption, the potential for growth is immense, particularly with the ongoing energy transition. The International Zinc Association’s insights highlight the critical role zinc will play in India’s development and the global shift towards renewable energy.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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