According to the most recent International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), the global zinc and lead markets were in deficit for the first six months of 2019.
The global zinc market was in deficit by 134,000 tons over the first six months of the year, according to the ILZSG.
Global zinc mine production rose 1.9% during the period to 6.36 million tons, up from 6.24 million tons for the same period in 2018. Mine production declined in China, India, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Turkey and the U.S. Meanwhile, production increased in Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Sweden.
Refined zinc metal production reached 6.51 million tons, down from 6.54 million tons last year. Production increased in China, Mexico and Peru but fell in Canada, India and the Russian Federation.
Zinc metal usage ticked up slightly to 6.65 million tons, up from 6.63 million tons, with usage increases seen in the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the U.S. Meanwhile, usage declined in Europe, Japan and Turkey.
Top metals consumer China saw imports of zinc concentrates fall 9.1% to 644,000 tons, while refined zinc metal imports rose 25%.
As for lead, the lead deficit for the first half of the year reached 65,000 tons. Lead mine production reached 2.30 million tons — up from 2.28 million tons last year — paced by increases in Europe, India and Peru.
Lead metal production reached 5.74 million tons, up from 5.64 million tons last year, with the increase paced by China, India and the Republic of Korea.
Lead metal usage amounted to 5.81 million tons, up from 5.67 million tons in 2018, led by increases in China and India. U.S. demand decreased by 2.7%, while Japanese demand fell by 5.6%, according to the ILZSG.
China’s imports of lead contained in lead concentrates rose by 44.1% during the six-month period, reaching 421,000 tons.