Commodity Market Report

Global lead short-term outlook March 2019

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Lead performed poorly in March, the worst performer among base metals and shedding over 6% of value. The price slide seemed unable to halt its relentless decline, despite total LME stocks remaining at historical lows. Markets focus seemed fixed on the vanishing cancelled warrants – down to a nine-year low – and instead seemed justified in their belief that refined lead supply tightness had disappeared together with the cancellations. Spot TCs for low-silver concentrates have increased to $35/t alongside a further rise in TCs for high-silver concentrate, which offsets some of the value lost by smelters in January from the narrowing arbitrage. Imported concentrates are still less attractive than domestic to Chinese smelters but the underlying market is still relatively tight and remains particularly vulnerable to supply disruptions. Major annual contract negotiations have therefore advanced little.

Table of contents

  • China
  • US
  • Europe
  • Raw materials market
  • Mine production news

Tables and charts

This report includes 12 images and tables including:

  • Global quarterly refined lead consumption (kt)
  • Value of arbitrage to Chinese smelters has recovered little since narrowing through January
  • China's concentrate imports fell sharply in February following the narrowing of the arb
  • Spot TCs for low-silver concentrate have begun to rise on the coattails of high-silver TCs
  • Concentrate market TCs
  • Lead mine capability, market adjustment and production (kt Pb)
  • 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)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook March 2019

    PDF 1.05 MB