World’s refined lead production for both, secondary and primary sources, reached 3.49mn mt in January-March (Q1), up 17pc from the previous year quarter, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS)
China’s apparent demand was approximately 1.74mn mt in the first three months of the year, up 525,000mt compared to the same period a year ago. Chinese demand symbolized 49pc of the global demand.
USA’s apparent demand has jumped by 31,000mt for Q1 compared to the 2020 period. In March demand surpassed supply as refined lead production was recorded at 1.22mn mt while demand stood at 1.26mn mt.
Lead market recorded a deficit of 88,000mt in Q1, followed by a deficit of 119,000mt in entire 2020. By the end of March 2021, total stocks were 16,000 lower than it was at the end of 2020.
Global refined zinc production increased 4.1 in Q1 while demand increased 8.9pc, or 279,000mt compared to the prior year quarter.
Chinese apparent share in global demand was 50pc at 1.71mn mt. Zinc market in Q1 was in surplus of 78,000mt while in entire 2020, surplus was recorded at 620,000mt. Stocks increased by 154,000mt in Q1.
LME stocks rose over Q1 close to 68,000mt compared to December levels. LME warehouses in Asia and US account for 34pc of global total. In March, zinc slab production stood at 1.18mn mt while demand was around 1.15mn mt.
In Q1, nickel market was in deficit while apparent demand surpassed production by 18,500mt. In 2020, nickel mine production was in a surplus of 954,00mt. Stocks with the LME grew 11,200mt higher by the end of March 2021, compared to the prior year. Nickel refined production in Q1 was reported at 585,900mt while demand was around 604,400mt.
Mine production in Q1 was 567,700mt which is up by 44,300mt compared to corresponding period in 2020. Chinese smelter output fell by 2,800mt compared to 2020 while apparent demand was 311,100mt, 44,300mt higher than the prior year.
Production in Indonesia in Q1 stood at 198,000mt, 40pc higher than Q1 2020. Demand in Indonesia has almost doubled to 83,000mt over the prior year period. Global demand for nickel has jumped by 79,000mt in Q1 compared to 2020. In March 2021, nickel production from smelters was around 197,300mt and demand at 211,200mt.