ILZSG: Refined lead metal in oversupply, refined zinc metal now in balance

Zinkerz (Foto: Initiative Zink)

Lisbon, Portugal — Provisional data indicate that world supply of refined lead metal exceeded demand by 13kt during the first nine months of 2015. The global market for refined zinc metal was in oversupply by 150kt during the first quarter of 2015, 38kt during the second quarter and then in balance during the third quarter. The data have been released by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) for world lead and zinc supply and demand during the first nine months of 2015.

Provisional key figures on lead metal show:

  • During the first nine months of 2015 total reported lead metal stock levels declined by 119kt of which 60kt was due to a reduction in inventories held in LME warehouses.
  • Global lead mine supply was 4.8 percent lower than during the first nine months of 2014. This was primarily due to reductions in Australia and China.
  • A decrease in world refined lead metal production of 6.9 percent was mainly a consequence of a sharp 14.2 percent fall in Chinese output. There were also reductions in Australia, Canada, Peru and the United States.
  • Demand for refined lead metal declined by 13.7 percent in China, 2.3 percent in Europe and 6.5 percent in the United States. Overall global usage fell by 6.8 percent.
  • Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates totalled 679,000 tonnes over the period January to September 2015, 3 percent less than the corresponding period in 2014.

The key figures on zinc metal indicate:

  • Over the first nine months of the year LME stocks fell by 95kt, Shanghai Futures Exchange Inventories increased by 85kt and stocks reported by producers and consumers rose by 33kt resulting in a net rise in total reported stocks of 23kt.
  • An increase in global zinc mine production of 2.1 percent was mainly a consequence of higher output in Australia, India, Peru, the Russian Federation and Sweden that more than balanced reduction in Bolivia, Canada, China, Ireland and Namibia.
  • World refined zinc metal output rose by 5.7 percent primarily due to higher production in China and India.
  • An increase in global refined zinc metal usage of 0.8 percent was mainly influenced by increases in China (0.6 percent), Europe (2.2 percent) and South East Asia. Demand in the United States declined by 2.7 percent.
  • Chinese imports of zinc contained in zinc concentrates totalled one million tonnes over the first nine months of 2015, an increase of 61 percent compared to the same period of 2014.

Full details are available in the November 2015 edition of the Group’s 77 page ‘Lead and Zinc Statistics’ Bulletin. Further details about the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) together with a full list of publications are available on the Group’s website at

Source: International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)