According to a recent report from Reuters, refined lead production dropped 1.6% in September, compared to the month before, to 313,620 metric tons. This represents the third straight month of lead production declines.
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Nickel and tin joined lead as base metals suffering production-wise in China, due in part to low prices and weak domestic demand. However, high spots were copper and zinc production.
China’s refined copper production climbed 2.3% in September, month-over-month, reaching a 3-month peak due in part to new smelters increasing output and a surplus in supplies of raw material.
According to the news source, refined zinc production grew 1.1% to 536,745 mt in September, representing a second straight month of increases. This was due in part to expected increased demand with Beijing’s investment in infrastructure projects requiring an abundance of zinc.
Keeping a Close Eye on the Chinese economy
Metal prices continue to ebb and flow as the Chinese economy continues its recovery. But exactly how fast is the Chinese economy really growing? Our own Stuart Burns wrote on this topic recently and stated that proxy indexes simply can’t tell.
As it stands officially, the Chinese economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter this year. According to China’s statistics bureau, GDP rose 6.9% in inflation-adjusted terms in the third quarter.
How will base metals fare for the remainder of 2015 and into 2016? You can find a more in-depth lead price forecast and outlook in our brand new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report. For a short- and long-term buying strategy with specific price thresholds: