May Lead Price Forecast: Demand Forecast for 2016

lead-prices-L1The Standing Committee of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group held its Spring meetings last month, and revealed they anticipate global demand for refined lead metal to rise 2% in 2016.

Furthermore, increased usage in China by the automotive and telecommunications sectors could be offset by a reduction in demand in the e-bike market there, leading to slower sales growth and higher competition from battery production.

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In Europe, demand is projected to grow 3.5% spearheaded by activity in Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, and the U.K. This after demand fell 5.2% last year. Growth is also expected in Japan, Indonesia, India, Turkey and Thailand.

The ILZSG report stated: “An expected fall of 6.1% in ex-China production will be primarily due to reductions in Australia resulting from the closure of MMG‘s Century mine in August last year and cutbacks announced by Glencore, CBH Resources and Perilya.”

In 2015, Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates reached a record 1.03 million metric tons, the ILZSG stated, and are projected to fall to just under 900,000 mt this year.

Global refined lead metal production is expected to grow 2.3% due in large part to increased output in the Republic of Korea. The ILZSG concluded: “Having taken into account all of the information recently received from its member countries, the Group anticipates that increases in refined metal supply, most notably in the Republic of Korea, will result in a global refined lead metal surplus of 76,000 mt in 2016.”

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