ILZSG: Global refined lead metal supply exceeded demand in 2016

Lisbon, Partugal — According to preliminary data of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) for 2016, supply exceeded demand by 11kt in the global market for refined lead metal. Over the same period inventories reported by the London Metal Exchange , Shanghai Future Exchange and producers and consumers increased by 24kt totalling 478kt at the year end.

Other key figures indicate:

  • There was a sharp decrease in Australian lead mine output mainly as a consequence of the closure of the Century mine in 2015 and cutbacks in output at some Glencore operations. Production was also lower in India and Mexico. However, these reductions were partially balanced by a rise in China resulting in an overall global decline of 1.3 percent.
  • World refined lead metal production rose by 2.4 percent. This was mainly the result of an increase in output in the Republic of Korea largely influenced by Korea Zinc’s commissioning of a new primary lead plant in Onsan in November 2015. Output was also higher in Australia, Kazakhstan and the United States.
  • Production of refined lead metal from secondary (recycled) raw material accounted for 58.1 percent of global output compared to 57.8 percent in 2015.
  • European demand for refined lead metal increased by a robust 8.7 percent driven mainly by rises in the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. In the United States, usage rose by 3.6 percent. However, in China there was a decline in apparent demand of 1.5 percent. Overall global usage increased by 2.0 percent.
  • Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates in 2016 fell by 26.3 percent compared to 2015 and amounted to 758kt. Of these 144kt were sourced from the United States, 123kt from the Russian Federation and 77kt from Peru.
  • Cash Settlement and Forward Three month Prices on the LME averaged US-$ 1872 and US-$ 1878 respectively during 2016, 5.0 percent and 4.7 percent higher than during 2015. The highest Cash Settlement Price of US-$ 2,466 was recorded on 28 November and the lowest of US-$ 1,597 on 12 January.

Full details are available in the February 2017 edition of the Group’s 77 page ‘Lead and Zinc Statistics’ Bulletin. The 2017 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 under

Source: International Lead & Zinc Study Group





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