A recent report by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) details lead and zinc supply and demand levels for the first nine months of the year.
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Lead Demand Exceeds Supply
According to the report, lead demand exceeded supply by 110,000 tons for the first nine months of the year, while reported stock levels fell by 49,000 tons.
Lead mine production dropped 0.9%, “primarily due to lower output in Australia, Kazakhstan, Peru, South Africa and the United States that more than offset increases in Europe, India and Morocco,” according to the report.
Production and usage were up on a month-to-month basis. Mine production hit 400,800 tons in September, up from 380,100 tons in August. Lead usage hits 1,043,700 tons in September, up from 987,900 tons in August.
Meanwhile, global lead usage fell 0.6%, primarily as a result of reductions in South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Mexico. European usage increased 0.3%, paced by upticks in Austria, Italy and Poland.
Zinc Market in Deficit
The global zinc market, on the other hand, was in deficit by 305,000 tons for the January-September period, while total reported inventories dropped by 46,000 tons over the same nine-month period.
“World zinc mine production rose by 1.2%, mainly influenced by increases in Australia, Peru and the United States,” the report states. “In Europe, a 3.2% rise was primarily a consequence of increases in Finland, Greece, Ireland and Macedonia, that more than offset reductions in Poland and Sweden. In Canada, China, India and Mexico, output was lower compared to the first nine months of 2017.”
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Meanwhile, global zinc usage fell 0.3%, primarily due to decreases in China, South Africa and Taiwan. European usage increased 1.3%, led by upticks in Poland, France, Belgium and the Russian Federation.
On a month-to-month basis, mine production hit 1,084,500 tons in September, up from 1,064,200 tons in August. Zinc usage hit 1,155,500 tons, up from 1,141,600 tons in August.