Furthermore, over the same time frame, total reported stock levels grew, as well.
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“A decrease in global lead mine production of 5% compared to the same period in 2015 was mainly a consequence of reduced output in Australia and the United States,” the ILZSG report stated.
Refined lead metal production decreased by 1.9% despite increases in Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea. The reason? Lower output from China, whose imports of lead contained in lead concentrates fell 19.9% compared to the same time frame in 2015.
Also in China, demand decreased by 12.4%, which contributed to the global usage decline of 3.3% overall. In Europe, usage climbed by 9.8% but in the U.S. and the Korea, usage fell by 1.2% and 7.5%, respectively.
Metal Prices Bullish?
Our own Raul de Frutos wrote this week that global stock markets continue to rise, indicating a positive outlook for the global economy and, in turn, industrial metals demand growth.
de Frutos wrote: “This is especially true when China’s stock markets rally. China’s stock market is possibly the best benchmark for China’s economy or at least investors’ sentiment about the Chinese economy. The slowdown in the Chinese economy (weak demand with too much capacity) explains why industrial metals peaked in 2011.”
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.