Over that same time frame, inventories reported by the London Metal Exchange (LME), Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) and consumers and producers dropped by 83,000 metric tons, hitting 503,000 mt at the end of the year.
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Meanwhile, a global lead mine production drop off of 12.1% can be attributed to a significant 25.2% decrease in Chinese production. Elsewhere around the world, output in Ireland, Australia and the U.S. was by and large offset by increases in Sweden, Peru and India.
“As in the case of lead mine production, a 7.8% reduction in world refined lead metal output was almost exclusively due to a reported 18% fall in Chinese output,” according to the report, “to its lowest level since 2009. In Europe, there was a recovery in production in the U.K. after a fall in 2014 due to a disruption in lead bullion supplies. There was no production in Peru in 2015 as a result of the continued suspension of operations at the La Oroya plant.”
Lead Price Movements Since Q1
We’ve been keeping a close eye on steel price movements over the past several weeks, and how those movements relate to other industrial metals, including lead. Metals such as aluminum, copper, nickel and, of course, lead, haven’t moved all that much since hitting multiyear lows back in February. The key factor for their movements is oil, whose recent rally appears to be losing momentum.
You can find a more in-depth lead price forecast and outlook in our brand new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report. Check it out to receive short- and long-term buying strategies with specific price thresholds.