Global lead short-term outlook March 2023
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.