Lead outlook - Q4 2021
The strong rebound in demand from the initial impact of coronavirus lockdowns and slowdowns has not been matched by a similar supply response from primary production. Secondary output, however, has been enjoying a healthy availability of scrap batteries to utilise available capacity and satisfy battery makers - but this abundance of feed will not last much longer. Mine output does start to pickup in a couple of years, contributing to sustained and growing supply-demand surpluses for lead metal and concentrates. Despite this, stocks in terms of days of consumption do not exceed the past decade's average for another three years for concentrates and five years for refined metal. Lead demand growth slows from this year's 3.8% pa, elevated after the 3.1% dip last year, to average 1.7% out to 2032.