Lead Prices Struggle as Chinese Car Sales Hit the Brakes

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Thanks to the momentary recovery in global markets, lead prices started on the right foot in March.

Free Sample Report: Our March Metal Buying Outlook

However, prices lost steam recently as they neared resistance levels. Lead is finishing the month 2% down.

Lead struggles near $1900

Lead prices struggle to move above resistance levels. Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets.com data.

The latest figures showed that growth is cooling down in China’s vehicle market, raising a caution flag. China sold about 1.38 million cars in February, down 1.5% from a year earlier, capping off a two-month sales period that is traditionally affected by the Lunar New Year.

Free Download: The March 2016 MMI Report

February represented the first decline in six months. Last month we pointed out that the 7.7% growth in January could shrink in the following months as China’s weak economic situation could hurt consumer confidence. Also, the growth seen in previous months came thanks to a 50% tax cut for small cars, serving as a stimulus measure rather than a sustainable, long-term demand increase.

What This Means For Metal Buyers

Lead prices are lacking upside momentum despite the momentary recovery in commodity markets. Lead prices are holding well, but for them to make a significant upside move we would probably need to see further strength in commodity and Chinese markets. A possible pullback in these markets could bring lead prices down in Q2.

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