Lead: what to look for in 2016

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Report summary

The situation for lead is dominated by the increasingly tight availability of mine supply during the course of 2016. With no new mines outside China due to start production this year and several major smelter expansions the competition for concentrates will be intense drive TCs down and LME price upwards. Demand remains steady and driven by the relentless increase in global vehicle numbers. New battery technology will increase the use of lead for automotive batteries and electric vehicles will do little to abate this demand.

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    Lead: what to look for in 2016

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  • Asia continues to have highest growth
  • All regions move into positive growth for 2016
  • Lead remained the most resilient base metal throughout 2015
  • Price spread volatility was a feature throughout last year
  • Hybrids and EVs show limited market penetration for years ahead
  • 2016 will see it s first concentrate market deficit since 2008
  • Production capability of medium-high silver grade lead concentrate treating smelters higher than mine production forecast in ROW
  • It is forecast that 61% of Chinese smelter production will come from SKS technology


  • Heavy investment will be required from this year onwards to meet the requirement for lead concentrate

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