ILZSG: Global lead mine production expected to increase by a further 5.2%

Bleigewichte (Foto: ©Harry256 /

Lisbon, Portugal — The Standing Committee of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group held its Spring meetings in Lisbon on 2 April 2014 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Henrique Santos (Portugal). During the meeting the Committee received a review of the current outlook for trends in world supply and demand for lead and zinc during 2014. This was followed by a meeting of the ILZSG Industry Advisory Panel and of the Economic and Environment Committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. Salim Bhabhrawala (United States).

Forecasting the lead trends for 2014, the outlook shows:


  • ILZSG expects that global demand for refined lead metal will increase by 4.4% in 2014 to 11.73 million tonnes. This will be driven mainly by growth in China where usage is forecast to increase by 7.4%. In 2013, China accounted for 45.2% of total global lead usage.
  • After increasing by 14.1% in 2013, demand in the United States is forecast to rise by a modest 0.6%. In Europe, a rise of 2.2% is anticipated driven mainly by a forecast recovery in Italian demand.


  • Following a rise of 7.5% in 2013, global lead mine production is expected to increase by a further 5.2% to 5.66 million tonnes in 2014 primarily as a consequence of higher output in Australia and China.
  • Chinese net imports of lead contained in lead concentrates are expected to exceedthree quarters of a million tonnes for the seventh year in succession.
  • In 2014, world production of refined lead metal is forecast to rise by 4.3% to 11.68 million tonnes.
  • Output in the Republic of Korea, currently the world’s third largest producer of lead metal behind China and the United States, is expected to rise by 5.7% to reach half a million tonnes. Elsewhere in Asia increases are forecast in China, India and Kazakhstan.
  • In the United States, the closure of Doe Run`s primary operation at Herculaneum in December last year will be partially offset by a rise in secondary output, however, overall production is expected to decline by 5.3%.
  • A predicted increase in Europe of 4.4% is mainly a consequence of forecast rises in production in Belgium, France and Italy.

World Refined Lead Metal Balance

  • After having taken into consideration the latest information reported by its member countries, ILZSG expects that the world market for refined lead metal will remain in modest deficit in 2014 with the extent of the shortage estimated at 49,000 tonnes.

Further information on these topics can be obtained on the ILZSG web site or by contacting the secretariat at

Source: International Lead and Zinc Study Group