A strong start to the year saw lead head the base metals complex in a price rally driven by fresh supply concerns. The LME price peaked at $2390/t, near the November high point, before settling back to $2355/t at month end. A substantial single holding of LME positions and volatile trading in the run-up to the Chinese New Year break stretched the cash to 3-month price spread to a six-year high $52 backwardation before relaxing back to a $1/t contango. Cancelled warrants doubled to over a third to total stocks and may herald movement of tonnage from Asia to Europe. Treatment charges remained flat from last month at around $15/t CIF MCP but a reduced SHFE/LME arbitrage reduced total revenue on concentrates by 80%.