Commodity market report
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27 Pages

Global lead short-term outlook March 2016

Global lead short-term outlook March 2016

Report summary

After a brief rally, lead price slipped downwards during March as the metal struggled to impose its fundamentals and a lack of positive stimulus caused investor interest to wane. The month end price of $1704/t was over $100/t lower than the month average as lead underperformed the complex of base metals. The LME/SFHE price arbitrage has turned negative for the first time since June last year, potentially placing pressure on Chinese secondary supply later in the year. Significant movements in LME stock figures to correct reporting errors have so far gone unexplained, undermining confidence that the LME can adequately respond to demands for transparency.

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Global lead short-term outlook March 2016 PDF - 444.02 KB 27 Pages, 15 Tables, 13 Figures
  • Data tables lead STO March 2016.xls XLS - 265.50 KB


As global demand weakens and commodity prices fall, we're seeing a challenging environment in the metals and mining industry. Mining companies are increasingly coming under pressure to reduce operating costs, causing many to shift their strategic planning, delay new investments and look to long-term future growth.

This Lead Short Term Outlook report provides a detailed breakdown of global supply and demand balances in this market, as well as price forecasts.

Mining companies, investment banks and investors can use this report to understand the future direction of the ferrous and base metals market. It will also help you assess the impact of key industry issues and events on market balances and pricing.

From acquisitions to investments, Wood Mackenzie helps you plan, forecast and benchmark in the metals markets. Our proprietary database and analyst expertise combines robust production, consumption and pricing data with detailed analysis to identify market opportunities.

We give you a holistic view of the ferrous and base metals markets so you have the confidence to make strategic decisions.

  • Executive summary
    • Lead key forecasts
  • Supply-demand balances
    • Refined lead premia and scrap prices
    • Price forecasts and global quarterly supply/demand balances (kt)
  • Demand
    • China
    • US
    • Other
      • Global quarterly refined lead consumption (kt)
  • Supply
    • Raw materials market
      • Smelter and refinery news
      • Mine production news

In this report there are 28 tables or charts, including:

  • Executive summary
    • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances
    • Initial lead rally turns to sustained slide below other metals bar aluminium
    • Stable contango returns after four months of volatility
    • Money Managers close off open interest positions as lead fails to hold attention
    • Positive arbitrage from June 2015 moves back to a negative in March
    • SHFE stocks climb sharply to levels last seen in June last year
    • Underlying trend of steady outflow restored as false data is corrected
    • Apparent LME stock movements and market reaction
    • Actual stock movements with false data removed reinforces regular outflow from warehouses
    • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
    • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Demand
    • Production data from top 50 producers shows electric three-wheelers give boost to 2015 ebike demand, exceeding previous year
    • Expansion of mobile network slows, depressing stationary battery demand
    • Fall in refined lead imports points to US market acclimatising to loss of Herculaneum primary tonnage
    • Demand: Table 1
  • Supply
    • Concentrate market TCs
    • February Chinese concentrate imports 33% higher than in January
    • The difference in Chinese utilisation rates at primary and secondary smelters has not closed so far in 2016
    • Lead mine capability, adjustment and production - ROW, China and Global (kt Pb)
    • Cerro Las Minitas resource estimate, March 2016
    • Gorno resource estimate, March 2016
    • Snow Lake resource estimate
    • Global refined lead consumption (kt Pb)
    • Global lead mine production (Lead in concentrate)
    • 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)
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