Commodity market report

Global lead short-term outlook March 2018

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Report summary

Lead joined the other base metals in a general price slide, yet managed to be the best performer despite losing 2.2% of value. Two large deliveries either side of the month start added 23kt to LME stocks, helping to deflate the lead price. Markets recovered as trade war tensions eased and lead's dynamics were helped by fresh warrant cancellations effectively neutralising the earlier influx and pushing the available tonnage down to a five-year low. Price spreads remained tight, the refined lead spot market saw little activity and scrap prices scarcely eased in the transition towards the low season. Lead concentrate supply is improving as Chinese mines reopen after winter, although environmental constraints may limit net growth this year. ROW mine production is forecast to increase but will be insufficient to allow full operation at smelters. Spot TCs are thus unchanged and annual contract negotiations look set to continue yielding terms lower than last year.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Data tables lead STO March 2018.xls

    XLS 256.50 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook March 2018

    PDF 516.34 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook March 2018

    ZIP 611.30 KB

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 20 images and tables including:


  • Base metals fall on demand worries from trade war
  • Base metals price performance for 2018 so far
  • Lead price follows dollar value less closely in March
  • Lead price spread trades in narrow range during March
  • Total stocks climb but live warrants now at a five-year low
  • LME stock movements
  • Regional demand changes from previous forecast
  • No increase on Chinese battery production in 2017 from previous year


  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Concentrate market TCs
  • Demand: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 2
  • Supply: Table 3
  • Supply: Table 4
  • Supply: Table 5
  • Supply: Table 6
  • Supply: Table 7
  • Supply: Table 8

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