According to a recent report by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), global lead and zinc supply exceeded demand through the first four months of the year.
The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.
Zinc market in surplus
Global zinc supply exceeded demand by 31,000 tons metric tons, ILZSG preliminary data indicated.
During the period, zinc mine production rose by 11.3%.
Australia, Bolivia, China, India, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States posted production increases.
Output from Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Poland declined.
Meanwhile, refined zinc output rose by 4.5%. Zinc usage also increased, surging by 10.1% as a result of a “substantial rise” in China. However, China’s imports of zinc contained in zinc concentrates dropped by 9.4%.
Usage also increased in Brazil, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. Meanwhile, apparent consumption fell by 2.1% in the U.S.
Lead production surges
Meanwhile, in the lead market, global supply exceeded demand by 19,000 metric tons during the first four months of 2021, the ILZSG reported.
Furthermore, global lead mine production jumped by 9.1%, paced by increases in Australia, Bolivia, China, India, Mexico, Peru and the U.S.
As for lead metal production, Belgium, China, India and South Korea led a 10.8% increase. Production also rose in Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland and the United States.
Refined lead metal usage increased by 11.2%, the ILZSG reported, paced by gains in Brazil, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and the U.S.
Like zinc, China’s imports of lead contained in lead concentrates fell by 5.3% to 195,000 metric tons.
Lead, zinc prices trade sideways
On the price front, lead and zinc have mostly traded sideways of late.
However, LME three-month zinc did dip to $2,844 per metric ton last week before recovering to close the week at $2,896 per metric ton, or down 3.4% month over month.
Meanwhile, LME three-month lead closed last week at $2,224 per metric ton, or up 2.02% month over month. The LME three-month price has traded in the $2,150-$2,250 range for the last six weeks.
Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.