Commodity market report

Global lead short-term outlook May 2017

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Report summary

A steady decline reduced the lead price by 8% to $2075/t after dropping to a four-month low earlier in the month. External factors added to negative sentiment from swelling exchange stocks as material removed from LME warehouses in April was placed back on warrant. A clear decline in automotive production in China, the US and Korea added momentum to this price fall. While overall demand for refined lead remained healthy, some softening was noticeable on top of the seasonal reduction for the Northern Hemisphere summer period. Increasing tightness in both primary and secondary raw materials will trigger a price recovery, but we are unlikely to see this until the peak battery production season commences towards the end of Q3.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Data tables lead STO May 2017.xls

    XLS 252.50 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook May 2017

    PDF 661.53 KB

  • Document

    Global lead short-term outlook May 2017

    ZIP 745.13 KB

Table of contents

    • Lead key forecasts
    • Stocks return to LME warehouses, cancelled warrants cut
    • Price forecasts and global quarterly supply/demand balances (kt)
    • China
    • US
      • Global quarterly refined lead consumption (kt)
      • Concentrate market TCs
      • April Chinese concentrate imports 14% lower month on month
      • The difference in Chinese utilisation rates at primary and secondary smelters continue to decrease

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Lead underperforms the basket of LME metals
  • The first distinct disconnect this year appears between dollar value and lead price
  • Contango re-established in cash to 3-month price as price falls to four month low
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 4
  • Metal movements in and out of warehouses diminish after several large deposits
  • SHFE stocks resume increases after pausing for a couple of months
  • Complete reversal of Chinese refined lead export and import trend
  • Demand: Image 1
  • US automotive output slides from historical peak
  • Korean automotive production suffers loss of export demand
  • Supply: Image 1
  • Supply: Image 2


  • Refined lead premia and scrap prices
  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 2
  • Demand: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 1
  • Lead mine capability, adjustment and production - ROW, China and Global (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
  • Supply: Table 8

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