ILZSG: 2014 global market for refined lead metal was closely balanced

Bleigewichte (Foto: ©Harry256 /

Lisbon, Portugal — Preliminary data compiled by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) indicates that in 2014, the global market for refined lead metal was closely balanced with demand exceeding supply by 5kt. Over the same period inventories reported by the London Metal Exchange (LME), Shanghai Future Exchange (SHFE) and producers and consumers decreased by 26kt totalling 580kt at the year end.

Other key figures on lead show:

  • A fall in global lead mine production of 2.2 percent compared to 2013 was mainly a consequence of a 4.8 percent reduction in Chinese output. Elsewhere increases in Australia, Peru, Sweden and the United States were balanced by reductions in Bolivia, Canada South Africa and Turkey.
  • Despite reductions in Peruvian and US output influenced by the closure of operations at La Oroya in June 2014 and Herculaneum in December 2013 respectively, global output of refined lead metal increased by 1.4 percent. This was principally due to higher production in China, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Korea.
  • Production of refined lead metal from secondary (recycled) raw material accounted for 54.2 percent of total global output the same proportion as in 2013.
  • Global usage of refined lead metal increased by 1.4 percent in 2014. Demand in Europe rose by 3.1 percent to reach 1.72 million tonnes, its highest level since 2008. There was also an increase in Chinese apparent demand of 2 percent. However, after rising sharply in 2013, usage in the United States contracted by 1.5 percent.
  • Chinese net imports of lead contained in lead concentrates totalled 988kt, an increase of 22.9 percent compared to 2013.
  • Cash Settlement and Three Month Prices on the LME averaged US$2096 and US$2113 respectively during 2014, 2.1 percent and 2 percent lower than during 2013. The highest Cash Settlement Price of US$2269 was recorded on 28 July and the lowest of US$1814 on 30 December.

The 2015 edition of the ILZSG ‘Lead and Zinc New Mine and Smelter Projects’ report, with details of more than 200 lead and zinc projects, is now available. 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.

Source: International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)