Provisional data reported to the ILZSG indicate that world refined lead metal demand exceeded supply by 68kt during the first four months of 2017. Over the same period total reported stock levels increased by 2kt. A rise in global lead mine production of 13% compared to the first four months of 2016 as primarily due
to higher production in China which more than balanced a fall in Australia. An 8.4% increase in world refined lead metal output was mainly a consequence of higher output in
China, India and the United States. A sharp rise in net imports was the main influence on an increase in US apparent demand of 22.8%. There was also a strong rise in Chinese apparent usage of 16.4%. European demand increased by a more modest 1.5% with overall global demand up by 11.15%. Imports of lead contained in lead concentrates into China fell by 7kt to 224kt. Chinese net imports of lead metal amounted to 34kt compared to net exports of 10kt over the same period in 2016.
According to preliminary data recently compiled by the ILZSG, the global market for refined zinc metal was in deficit by 112kt over the first four months of 2017 with total reported inventories declining by 115kt over the same period. World zinc mine production increased by 7.3%. This was principally due to higher output in China, Eritrea, India, Peru and Turkey. Increases in refined zinc metal production in France, India and Kazakhstan were partially balanced by reductions in Canada, Peru and the Republic of Korea resulting in an overall global rise of 1.6%.
A rise in world refined zinc metal demand of 3.7% was primarily influenced by a 42.9% recovery in apparent usage in the United States. Usage in China fell by 0.7% and in Europe by 1.4%.
China imported a total of 385kt of zinc contained in zinc concentrates, an increase of 58kt compared to the same period of 2016. Chinese net imports of refined zinc metal amounted to 99kt, a decrease of 114kt.
Full details are available in the June 2017 edition of the Group’s 77 page ‘Lead and Zinc Statistics’ Bulletin.