Commodity market report

Global lead short-term outlook December 2017

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Report summary

Lead had a more dynamic month in December, hitting a six-year high of $2586/t, before falling back to close the month 0.5% down on where it started at $2491/t. Concerns are deepening that the tight supply picture could become acute in the event of sudden severe weather triggering a high demand for replacement batteries. This could trigger a sharp price rally capable of surging well past December's high point. Glencore's announcement of a phased reintroduction of mothballed mine capacity took a cautious path and helped maintained composure in the markets. Producers and consumers are still mostly locked in battle over prices for long-term refined metal supply in 2018, with smelters currently edging a slight advantage. Indicative treatment charges are little changed in December but negative TCs were traded for more complex material.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Data tables lead STO December 2017.xls

    XLS 293.00 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook December 2017

    PDF 547.99 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook December 2017

    ZIP 684.72 KB

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 23 images and tables including:


  • Lead price has a yo-yo December
  • Lead price rise exceeds influence of weaker dollar
  • Money Managers Commitments of Traders flutters at Glencore news then steadies
  • Fundamentals and profit-taking see backwardation reappear
  • Nickel aside, base metals follow similar path in second half of 2017
  • Stocks continue steady downward trend after November hiatus
  • Regular material movements in and out of LME warehouses
  • SHFE lead price resists upward pull of surging LME
  • Chinese vehicle output increases sharply as end of tax break looms
  • 4G rollout loses momentum, but 5G is coming earlier than originally planned
  • Highest monthly imports for ten years point to healthy demand and ailing supply


  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Lead mine capability, market adjustment and production (kt Pb)
  • Demand: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 3
  • Supply: Table 4
  • Global refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Global primary and secondary refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Supply: Table 7
  • Global lead supply and demand (kt)

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