The global lead market saw a deficit of 57,000mt in January-October while the zinc market recorded a surplus of 293,000mt during the same period, compared with the whole of 2019, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS). The lead market was in a deficit of 278,000mt at the end of 2019, while the zinc market ended last year with a deficit of 76,000mt, WBMS data indicated.
Lead production rises
Global production of refined lead increased 3.5pc in January-October 2020 to 10.73mn mt compared to the same period last year, amid growing demand from China. Of the total output, 1.16mn mt of refined lead was produced in October.
According to WBMS, apparent demand for refined lead in China rose by 331,000mt to 5.12mn mt in the first ten months of the year compared with January-October 2019, making up around 47pc of global demand. Conversely, demand for the metal in the US fell by 92,000mt from the same period last year. In October, WBMS reported global demand at 1.19mn mt.
Zinc demand drops
The demand for refined zinc declined 1.8pc or 199,000mt in January-October compared with the same period last year, with demand from China at 5.69mn mt, making up about 51pc of global demand for the material. Japan, a key consumer of zinc, experienced a 25pc decline in demand to 324,300mt during the same period under comparison. In October, WBMS reported global zinc demand at 1.23mn mt.
Global refined zinc production increased 1.6pc in January-October compared to the same period last year with slab zinc production in October alone tallying at 1.22mn mt.