Commodity Market Report

Global lead short-term outlook March 2023

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Lead has demonstrated reasonable resilience during March, ending the month up despite wider market turmoil associated with the banking sector and the release of customs data that show China remaining an exporter of refined metal so far this year. However, these exports are a symptom of a relatively weak market in China. Although PMIs have posted positive results in regions including China, China stands out in terms of weakness associated with the automotive sector. Fortunately, China's refined exports can also be viewed as a symptom of too much of the ROW's concentrate production being processed in China instead of in the ROW. This could change. Crucially, mine production has not reached the point that refined production is able to decisively exceed the needs of consumers. Lead prices are therefore remaining supported.

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 20 images and tables including:

  • Lead loses all Q4 2022 gains in Q1 2023
  • Cash to three months backwardation flared out in the second half of March
  • China's exports were destined for multiple destinations in December-January
  • Refined Lead Premia and Scrap Prices
  • Price forecasts and global quarterly supply/demand balances (kt)
  • Battery electric vehicle share of Chinese New Energy Vehicle market
  • Quarterly Consumption
  • Surge in lead concentrate volumes lifts overall imports to record levels in recent months
  • Spot TCs have been slow to lift despite a persistent LME/SHE arbitrage that widened a little in March
  • Concentrate market TCs
  • Sulphuric acid prices in China have been relatively stable at low levels since September
  • 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 March 2023

    PDF 1.00 MB