Global aluminum, lead, and zinc balances were in surplus in the first six months of 2020, according to the latest World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) data.
The glut in primary aluminum almost doubled to 1.34mn mt in H1 2020 from 735,000mt at the end of 2019. Lead, on the other hand, registered a surplus of 36,000mt from a deficit of 230,000mt during the same period under comparison. Zinc, which had reported a deficit of 74,000mt at the end of 2019, reported a surplus of 177,000mt in H1 2020.
Aluminum production rises, demand falls
Primary aluminum output increased by 3.1pc in the January-June period this year from H1 2019, WBMA noted without disclosing the volumes. In June, aluminum production stood at 5.58mn mt.
Aluminum production from China made up 54pc of the total global aluminum output at 17.87mn mt, due to the higher availability of imported bauxite and alumina in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019. The output of semi-manufactured aluminum increased by 9.7pc during the same period. Net exports of the product, however, declined by 14pc to 2.1mn mt in H1 2020 from 2.48mn mt during the prior-year period.
North American production also increased by 4.5pc in the first six months of 2020, compared with H1 2019, while European output fell by 2.2pc.
WBMS calculated the demand for non-ferrous metals on an apparent basis because of the COVID-19 related lockdown periods across the world during the first half of the year. Global demand for aluminum remained almost like the first six months of 2019, falling by 0.6pc or 190,000mt to 31.58mn mt in H1 2020. In June, demand was slightly lower than monthly production at 5.42mn mt.
Lead and zinc output rises
In the first six months of 2020, production of refined lead rose slightly to 6.1mn mt compared with H1 2019, while refined zinc production increased by 1.3pc during the same period, WBMS indicated without disclosing volumes.
Global demand for zinc was 88,000mt lower than H1 2019, with demand from China at 3.22mn mt making up for 49pc of worldwide demand for the metal in the first six months of 2020. Demand in Japan though was 9pc lower than the first six months of last year at 236,000mt in H1 2020.
WBMS did not disclose volumes or percentage changes in global lead demand but indicated that demand for the metal in China made up 46pc of the global figures. However, it fell by 19,000mt in the Asian country, compared to the first six months of last year, to 2.79mn mt in H1 2020. Lead demand in the US also declined by 65,000mt during the same period under comparison.