ILZSG: Global lead, zinc markets post supply surpluses in Q1 2020

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The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) this month reported the global lead and zinc markets posted supply surpluses for the first quarter of 2020.

Zinc in surplus by 239,000 tons

According to the ILZSG, the global zinc market was in surplus by 239,000 tons in Q1, while inventories increased by 156,000 tons.
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“World zinc mine production fell by 0.5%, mainly a result of decreases in Bolivia, China, Namibia, Turkey and Europe, where output was affected by declines in Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden,” the ILZSG reported. “This was partially offset by rises in Australia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States.”
Refined zinc metal production increased 3.2%, paced primarily by China.
Global zinc demand fell by 4%.
Chinese imports of zinc contained in zinc concentrates jumped 27.8% to 479,000 tons, while its net imports of refined zinc metal fell 50.8% year over year to 68,000 tons.

Lead market posts surplus

Lead supply exceeded demand by approximately 19,000 tons in Q1 2020, according to the ILZSG.
In additional, reported stock levels fell by 31,000 tons, mainly reflected by declining stock levels on the SHFE.
Lead mine production declines in China, India and Kazakhstan contributed to a 3.4% decline drop in global lead mine output.
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Furthermore, global lead metal production fell 7.1% to 2.7 million tons.
“A 7.1% decrease in global lead metal production was mainly a result of lower output in China, where the secondary sector was particularly affected by restrictive measures aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID19,” the ILZSG reported. “Production also fell in Canada, influenced by the closure of Glencore’s 70kt per year primary lead smelter located in Belledune, New Brunswick at the end of 2019.”
Refined global lead metal usage fell by 7.4%, driven by a “substantial reduction” in China.

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