Provisional data reported to the ILZSG indicate that world refined lead metal demand exceeded supply by 119kt during the first eight months of 2017. Over the same period total reported stock levels decreased by 28kt. According to ILZSG a 6.8% rise in global lead mine production was primarily a consequence of increases in China, India and Kazakhstan that more than balanced a sharp decline in Australia.
Higher output in China and India was the main driver behind a rise in global refined lead metal output of 4.1%. The latest data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Indicates that production in the US fell by 10.1%.
An increase in global demand for lead metal of 6.4% was primarily influenced by a rise in Chinese apparent demand of 12.4%. Usage in Europe was up by 3.5% and in the United States by 3.1%.
Imports of lead contained in lead concentrates into China decreased by 4% to total 480kt. Chinese net imports of refined lead metal amounted to 63kt compared to net exports of 12kt over the first eight months of 2016.
According to preliminary data recently compiled by the ILZSG, the global market for refined zinc metal was in deficit by 287kt over the first eight months of 2017 with total reported inventories declining by 274kt over the same period.
World zinc mine production rose by 3.9% mainly as a result of rises in Eritrea, India, Peru and Turkey that more than offset reductions in Australia and the United States.
A marginal 0.1% fall in global refined zinc metal production was primarily due to the fact that reductions in Canada, China, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand were balanced by a significant increase in India.
Despite small declines in usage in China and Europe of 1.3% and 0.9% respectively, global refined zinc metal usage increased by 0.6%. This was mainly due to increases in Japan, Taiwan (China) and the United States.
Imports of zinc contained in zinc concentrates into China increased by 38.9% to 714kt. Chinese net imports of refined zinc metal decreased by 5.3% to total 302kt.