Lead, Zinc Post Supply Deficits Through First Four Months of 2019

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According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group’s (ILZSG) most recent report, the global lead and zinc markets both were in deficit through the first four months of the year.

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Zinc Deficit Hit 97,000 Tons

Global refined zinc supply fell short of demand by by 97,000 tons over the first four months of the year, according to the ILZSG.

World zinc mine production jumped by 1.5% during the four-month period to 4.12 million tons, paced largely by an increase in Australia, in addition to smaller increases in Europe, Namibia and South Africa. Meanwhile, zinc mine production fell in China, India, Mexico, Peru and the United States.

Meanwhile, refined zinc metal production fell during the first four months of the year to 4.25 million tons, down from 4.35 million tons during the equivalent period in 2018. According to ILZSG, refined zinc metal production increased in Mexico and Peru but fell in China, India and Russia.

Zinc usage, meanwhile, fell 1.3% to 4.35 million tons through the first four months of the year, depressed by a fall in apparent demand in China. Usage in the U.S., India, Japan and Europe remained flat.

Lead Deficit Reaches 39,000 Tons

The lead metal deficit for the first four months of the year hit 39,000 tons, according to the ILZSG.

Lead mine production ticked up 0.7% to 1.54 million tons, paced by increases in Sweden, India and Peru but partially offset by a decline in China.

Lead metal production also picked up during the four-month period, rising 2.3% to 3.87 million tons, paced by higher output in China, India and South Korea.

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Lead metal usage also increased 2.3%, up to 3.90 million tons for the four-month period.

According to ILZSG, China’s imports of lead contained in lead concentrates increased by 30.7% to 260,000 tons, while its net imports hit 67,000 tons compared with 13,000 tons of net exports during the same period in 2018.

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