2023's refined surplus removed much of any tightness that previously existed, but this hasn't left the market entirely awash with metal. Lead is ending January up on the start of the month and up on a year ago. This strengthening comes after a period of unsupportive exchange and customs data during the latter part of 2023. However, exchange stocks are notably lower in January and SHFE prices' more mooted rise this month has led to the LME/SHFE arbitrage recovering after being considerably narrower around the turn of the year. Lead consumption is forecast to increase to 2026 at a CAGR of 0.9%, which is slightly greater than the 0.8% rise estimated for 2023. While we expect production to exceed consumption from 2025, it's forecast to only match it in 2024. A further new mine delay has already emerged and, crucially, we assume that 2023's strong secondary growth cannot be repeated. Prices should therefore remain supported before coming under downward pressure in 2025.