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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Cammarota, V. Anthony, Jr.; Lucas, John M.
Zinc,   pp. 993-1026 PDF (3.7 MB)

Page 999

 The Zinc Institute Inc. conducted a survey of 460 diecasters to determine
the market distribution of the 418,319 tons of zinc die castings shipped
by these companies in 1977. The results showed that automotive components
accounted for 49.3% of the total; builders' hardware, 22.4%; domestic appliances,
5.4%; industrial, agricultural, and commercial machinery, 5.9%; electrical
components, 9.3%; sporting goods and toys, 2.5%; scientific and professional
equipment, 1.4%; sound and television equipment, 1.4%; and miscellaneous,
2.4%. Since inceptioh of the survey in 1974, the data indicate that builders'
hardware and electrical components increased their market share from 25.5%
to 31.7%, while the share taken by domestic appliances and industrial, agricultural,
and commercial machinery declined from 16.0% to 11.3%. 
 Production.—Production of zinc oxide in 1977, at 207,725 tons,
7% over that of 1976. Shipments were 1% higher than production. The source
of domestic zinc oxide production was 54% from ore and concentrate (American
process), 26°% from slab zinc (French process), and 20% from secondary
material. Total French-process zinc oxide, including that from remelt and
scrap, was 33% of the total. Lead-free zinc oxide was produced at 13 plants
in the United States, and leaded zinc oxide was produced at 1 plant. 
 Zinc sulfate production, at 38,818 tons from nine companies, showed an increase
of 12% over that of 1976. Zinc sulfate production came from secondary material
and from ore or intermediate products. Zinc chloride production from four
companies was 13,913 tons; 14,007 tons was shipped. 
 St. Joe produced 50,201 tons of zinc oxide, down 4% from that of 1976, and
ASARCO, with plants at Columbus, Ohio, and Hillsboro, Ill., produced about
32,000 tons, down 11% from that of 1976. New Jersey Zinc also produced zinc
oxide from ores or concentrates, and slab zinc. Other major zinc oxide producers
such as the Eagle-Picher, Hillsboro, Ill., plant and the SherwinWilliams
Co., Coffeyville, Kans., plant, used calcines, fume, and secondary materials
as raw materials. New Jersey Zinc and St. Joe were the two largest of the
six producers of French-process zinc oxide. 
 Consumption and Uses—The apparent 
consumption of zinc oxide increased 5% in 1977 to about 224,000 tons. Analysis
of domestic shipments by industry usage showed the largest consumers to be
the rubber industry with 54% of the total; chemicals, 14%; photocopying,
11%; and paints, 7%. The use of zinc oxide increased for rubber, agriculture,
and miscellaneous uses. Photocopying declined 3%, continuing the downward
trend of recent years. Among miscellaneous uses, zinc oxide was used in floor
coverings, fabrics, lubricants, plastics, and rayon manufacturing. Agriculture
was the chief use for zinc sulfate with lesser amounts assigned to rayon,
flotation reagents, and chemicals. Leaded zinc oxide was used in rubber,
and lithopone was used mainly in paints. MOst of the zinc chloride was used
in soldering fluxes and batteries. 
 Prices—List prices at the beginning of the year were 40 cents
pound for American-process, lead-free, pigment grade, 41.5 cents for French
process, regular, 43 tO 
44 cents for electrophotographic grade, and 
38 cents for zinc oxide, leaded, 12%. With the reduction in the price of
zinc metal in May, U.S. producers lowered zinc oxide prices to 37.5 cents
per pound for Americanprocess zinc oxide, 39 cents for Frenchprocess, 40.5
to 41.5 cents for electrophotographic grade, and 35.5 cents for leaded zinc
oxide. Again in October prices were lowered 1 cent per pound for all grades
except leaded zinc oxide, which dropped 1.25 cents per pound. The price Of
zinc sulfate, granular monohydrate industrial, 36% zinc, bags in carload
lots, was quoted at $24 to $26.50 per 100 pounds. throughout the year. The
price of technical-grade zinc chloride, 50% solution, in tank-car quantities,
was quoted at $15.25 per 100 pounds in January and at $10 to $17.55 at yéarend.
 Foreign Trade.—Exports of zinc oxide increased 40% ever those
of 1976
to 6,771 tons, of which 4,043 tons was pigment grade. Canada and the Federal
Republic of Germany received 71% of the total. Lithopone exports decreased
44% to 435 tons. Imports of all classes of zinc compounds increased m 1977
to a total of 30,154 tons, an 8% gain. As in 1976, zinc oxide was the major
component of imports of zinc compounds. Mexico and Canada supplied 93% of
the zinc oxide; other European Economic Community countries contributed most
of the remainder. 

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