Commodity market report

Global lead short-term outlook January 2018

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Report summary

Lead started 2018 strongly, aided by a weakening dollar and persisting supply worries exacerbated by severe winter weather in North America and China. After briefly hitting a seven-year high of $2643/t, lead finished January on $2620/t, up 3.0% since the start of the month. Fundamental support came from the US in the grip of historical low temperatures provoking acute anxiety over increased refined lead demand coupled with reduced availability. Much of this situation was replicated in China as it too endured harsh winter conditions. Significant falls in LME and SHFE lead stocks plus large increases in cancelled warrants only added to the alarm. Annual treatment charge negotiations are ongoing with continued concentrate market tightness. Miners are seeking further TC reductions to bring them further into line with spot prices, but some smelters claim that they cannot accept any further cuts despite increasingly turning to non-concentrate feed.

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  • Document

    Data tables lead STO January 2018.xls

    XLS 250.50 KB

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    Global lead short-term outlook January 2018

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    Global lead short-term outlook January 2018

    ZIP 618.23 KB

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 21 images and tables including:


  • Lead makes steady and calmer progress through January than in previous month
  • Lead price forms a tighter correlation with the dollar rate in January
  • Lead forward price curves move from contango to flat to backwardation on supply tightness
  • Cash to 3-month price flickering between contango and backwardation
  • Increase level of warehouse withdrawals following significant warrant cancellations
  • A decrease in total stocks but cancelled warrants point to further falls
  • Increasing proportion of US battery scrap now as intercontinental exports
  • Supply: Image 1


  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Dairi project mineral reserves and resources
  • Demand: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 3
  • Supply: Table 4
  • Supply: Table 5
  • Global refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Global primary and secondary refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Supply: Table 8
  • Global lead supply and demand (kt)

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