Lead: 5 things to look for in 2017

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Report summary

This year holds the prospect of historically low concentrate stocks, restricted supply of refined lead and the price climbing strongly in reaction to this developing situation. Primary smelters, especially in China, will struggle with the shortfall in feed and competition for concentrates rich in by-product values to compensate for plummeting treatment charges. This is convincing markets that lead is undervalued and will push the price upwards throughout 2017. The key issues to watch this year are the performance of lead mines and smelters plus their impact on the concentrate market, premia and prices. Demand remains strong with record global automotive production and a resurgence in Chinese ebikes.

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    Lead: 5 things to look for in 2017

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Table of contents

    • 1. Supply shortfall will bring concentrate stocks to historical lows
    • 2. Chinese smelters under pressure to perform but exposed to risk factors
    • 3. Resurgence of Chinese ebike demand welcomed but will be short lived
    • 4. The lead premium see-saw between US and Europe
    • 5. Electric vehicles will not spark a decline in automotive lead use

Tables and charts

This report includes 4 images and tables including:


  • Concentrate and refined stocks hit lows
  • Global refined lead deficits as price surges
  • E-trikes provide temporary respite in ebike consumption decline
  • Conventional engines dominate as EVs struggle to gain global traction

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