Japan's Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co (5706.T) said it plans to produce 5.2 percent less zinc in April-September than a year earlier, reflecting a slump in demand for the metal.
Zinc is used mainly as an anti-corrosive coating in galvanised steel production. Japanese smelters have been cutting production of copper and other base metals this year as the economic crisis forces automakers and other manufacturers to cut output, causing metal consumption to sink.
Mitsui has a 34 percent interest in Pan Pacific Copper Co Ltd, Japan's top copper smelter, which is due to release soon its output target for the first half of the year to March 2010.
Nippon Mining & Metals Co Ltd, part of Nippon Mining Holdings Inc (5016.T), holds the remaining stake in the smelter.
For details of plans announced by Japanese smelters click: [ID:nT280073]
Following are details of Mitsui's output plan, with comparisons against estimated production for the second half of 2008/09 and actual production in the first half of 2008/09 (zinc, lead in tonnes, gold and silver in kilograms):
H1 09/10 H2 08/09 H1 08/09
Zinc 112,900 108,100 119,100
Lead 28,400 27,300 29,200
Gold 8,500 7,200 7,300
Silver 104,500 135,700 126,400
(Reporting by Miho Yoshikawa; Editing by Chris Gallagher)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved