The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) last week released preliminary data for world lead and zinc supply and demand for the first half of 2018, noting that refined lead demand exceeded available supply and that there was a deficit in refined zinc supply of about 17 000 t.
The organisation cautioned that Chinese trade data for the months of April, May and June was currently unavailable, and that its figures were based on estimates that would be revised once actual trade figures were released.
ILZSG noted that global refined lead metal demand exceeded supply by 39 000 t during the first half of 2018, and that total reported stock levels had fallen by about 41 000 t over the same period.
A 4.2% fall in global lead mine production was primarily due to lower output in Australia, Kazakhstan, Peru and the US, which vastly offset increases in Europe, Cuba and Morocco.
Refined global lead metal output increased by 1.2%, mainly influenced by increases in India and the US. Production in Europe fell by 0.4% and in the Republic of Korea by 3.7%.
A minuscule 0.5% increase in global use was largely a consequence of increases in Germany and the US. Apparent demand in Indonesia and the Republic of Korea fell by 14.1% and 2.6% respectively. In Europe, use was the same as during the first six months of 2017.
The ILZSG’s preliminary data had the global market for refined zinc metal in deficit by 17 000 t in the first six months of 2018, despite total reported inventories increasing by 77 000 t over the same period.
The organisation stated that mine production fell by 2.4%, compared with the first half of 2017, as a result of reported reductions in Australia, China and India that more than offset a 5.6% rise in Europe.
Higher refined zinc metal production in Belgium, Canada, China, Japan, Norway and Peru was partially balanced by decreases in India and the US, resulting in an overall increase globally of 2.1%.
A 0.6% reduction in the global use of refined zinc metal was mainly influenced by decreases in apparent demand in South Africa, Taiwan and the US. In Europe, increases in Belgium, France and Poland were offset by reductions in Germany and Italy.