In spite of statements from China in Bloomberg, stating that $2400/ton is the support level for lead and that China is cutting back exports to support the world price, the metal has continued to fulfill its image and has sunk like the proverbial lead balloon. The reality is China, which produces a third of the world’s lead, would lose money if it exported at current levels. Dealers are hoping the cessation of Chinese exports may support the price but so far there have been no signs that this is the case.
Following five years of shortages earlier in the decade and massive investment in new mines, the metal moved into surplus and stocks have now reached an 18 month high precipitating the fall in prices to close at $2195/ton on Friday. The sentiment remains overwhelmingingly negative and prices could fall further.