The International Lead and Zinc Study Group released preliminary data for world lead supply and demand during 2012. The data compiled by the ILZSG indicate that in 2012 global supply of refined lead metal exceeded demand by 64 kilo tonne. Over the same period inventories reported by theLondon Metal Exchange Shanghai Future Exchange and producers and consumers increased by 23 kilo tonne totalling 628 kilo tonne the year end.
Global lead mine production increased by 11.5% compared to 2011. Output was higher in a number of countries including Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation and Turkey, however the increase was principally due to a reported 20.4% rise in China.Other key results are:
Rises in output of refined lead metal in the India, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States were largely balanced by reductions in Australia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, New Zealand and Spain resulting in a limited global increase of 0.2%. Output in China was at the same level as in 2011.
Despite a further decline in European demand for refined lead metal of 2.4%, world usage increased by 1.3%. This was primarily a consequence of higher demand in India, Japan, Mexico and the United States. Apparent demand in China was unchanged from 2011. China’s imports of lead contained in lead concentrates rose by 26.3% to reach a record of just over a million tonnes.
Cash Settlement and Forward Three Month Prices on the LME averaged USD 2061 and USD 2073 respectively during 2012, 14% and 13.3% lower than during 2011. The highest Cash Settlement Price of USD 2340 was recorded on 31 December and the lowest of USD 1744 on 27 June.