BEIJING, Jan 11 (Reuters) – * China’s zinc and zinc alloy production dropped by 1.5 percent in 2017 to 4.73 million tonnes due to low processing fees, inadequate concentrate supply and the impact of strict environmental inspections, Antaike says. * December output fell by 25,000 tonnes from November to 402,000 tonnes on the back of environmental checks in Hunan province and seasonal maintenance at smelters elsewhere. * Market is „confused“ about post-winter consumption outlook in China but historically low zinc concentrate and ingot inventories are set to support prices. * The most-traded zinc contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 26,180 yuan ($4,017.80) per at tonne at 0500 GMT on Thursday and is up 1.9 percent year-to-date. * China’s 2018 zinc output seen rising as more smelters come on stream, with Baiyin Nonferrous Group having already launched new capacity in the fourth quarter of last year, Antaike says. ($1 = 6.5160 Chinese yuan)

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