Glencore’s Zinc Rationale Defies History

bloomberg“You shut up!/No, YOU shut up!” is how schoolyard scuffles kick off. Miners tweak it slightly to: “You shut down!/No, YOU shut down!” Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of Glencore, has long bemoaned miners’ tendency to literally dig themselves into a hole with too much supply. As concern about Glencore’s swollen debt has hit the stock price, Glasenberg has recently taken himself at his word, ordering a temporary shutdown of some of the company’s zinc output. That caused the price of the metal to jump 10 percent last Friday. But history suggests Glencore’s fight to raise zinc prices sustainably could be a tough one.

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