Commodity Market Report

Global lead short-term outlook January 2023

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The ending of Xi's zero-Covid policy has been a key macro development of recent months and it will no doubt encumber Chinese lead market activity in Q1. This expectation is supported by a generally unchanged arbitrage after the CNY holidays that signals the persistence of Chinese lead market weakness relative to strength in the rest of the world. This strength is supported by wider macro developments including the IMF's positive assessments, but it mainly reflects reasonably tight markets for both refined metal and concentrates, led by forecast consumption growth of 3%. The Abra project, which is the first major lead-only mine to be commissioned since 2005, produced its first concentrate in January. However, this mine supply growth is unlikely to result in any surplus in 2023. It will merely do to the market what a stock overhang did in 2022, i.e. meet consumption. Surpluses of concentrate and metal are not expected until 2024, and they will not be of notable scale until 2025.

Table of contents

    • Global
  • Europe
  • China
  • India
    • Concentrate market
    • Project development
    • Mines news
    • Corporate Activity
    • Smelter news

Tables and charts

This report includes 17 images and tables including:

  • Lead returns to pack in second half of month
  • Backwardation unwinds and resets
  • Seasonal Shanghai stock build getting underway
  • Refined lead premia and scrap prices
  • Price forecasts and global quarterly supply/demand balances (kt)
  • Quarterly consumption
  • Spot TCs remain low despite the arbitrage remaining unfavourable for importing concentrate to China
  • Concentrate market TCs
  • Acid prices are not in a position to insulate smelters from a big cut in contract TCs in 2023
  • Up modestly year on year, imports in late 2022 were also up significantly from two years earlier
  • Lead mine capability, market adjustment and production (kt Pb)
  • Global refined lead consumption (kt Pb)
  • Global lead mine production (lead in concentrate, kt Pb)
  • Global refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Global primary and secondary refined lead production (kt Pb)
  • Lead stocks, prices and premia
  • Global lead supply and demand (kt)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook January 2023

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