The global lead market saw a deficit of 32,000mt in January-September, while the zinc market recorded a surplus of 328,000mt 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 79,000mt, WBMS data indicated.
Lead production rises
Global production of refined lead rose by 3.5pc in January-September 2020 to 9.58mn mt compared with the same period last year, amid rising demand for the material from China. Of the total output, 1.14mn mt of refined lead was produced in September.
According to WBMS, apparent demand for refined lead in China rose by 251,000mt to 4.51mn mt in the first nine months of the year compared with January-September 2019, making up 47pc of global demand. On the other hand, demand for the metal in the US declined by 91,000mt from the same period last year. In September, WBMS reported global demand at 1.14mn mt.
Zinc demand falls
The demand for refined zinc declined by 3.1pc or 316,000mt in January-September compared with the same period last year, with demand from China, at 5.05mn mt, making up half of the global demand for the material. Japan, another key consumer of zinc saw its demand decline by 24pc to 295,000mt during the same period under comparison. In September, WBMS reported global zinc demand at 1.15mn mt.
Global refined zinc production trended sideways, increasing by 0.9pc in January-September compared with the same period last year, with slab zinc production in September alone tallying at 1.17mn mt.