Base Metals may move Northwards.

Base Metals

Base Metals may move further upside.

World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) reported that Lead has shown a deficit of 10100 tons in Jan-Feb 2012. Refined Lead production declined by 96000 tons in Jan-Feb 2012 period. Consumption of refined lead was 54000 tons lower.  Total consumption of lead inChinawas 580000 tons in Jan-Feb that was down by 110000 tons below the comparable period in 2011. In February, refined lead production was 768400 tons while consumption stood at 768900 tons. Nickel production exceeded demand by 8700 tons according to the latest estimate by World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS). The report showed that the Nickel markets were in surplus of 7900 tons in 2011 as well. Refined production of Nickel in Jan-Feb 2012 totaled 287700 tons. Mine production during the period was 335400 tons, which was 85500 above the January to February 2011 period. Japanese refinery output declined by 900 tons compared with 2011. The apparent demand was higher than in 2011. Refined consumption of Nickel stood at 279000 tons in Jan-Feb 2012, up 44200 tons than previous year. In February, Nickel smelter production was 143700 tons while consumption stands at 140400 tons.

Global aluminum production increased to 2.121 million metric tons in March from a revised 1.999 million in February, as per the latest report released by International Aluminum Institute. However, the March total was down from 2.164 million in the same month a year ago. Daily production last month averaged 68,400 tons, down from 68,900 in February and 69,800 in March 2011. Production gains last month occurred in North America, South America, Asia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

China’s lead and zinc ore industry is expected to further boom in future driven by the recovering economy, increasing demand, improvement of industry concentration and supportive government policies. In 2010,Chinahad about 45 million tons basic reserves of lead and zinc ore. In 2010, Inner Mongolia andYunnanprovinces had about 8.9 million tons and 8.7 million tons of lead and zinc ore basic reserves and occupied about 19.7% and 19.3% of the whole lead and zinc ore basic reserves inChina, respectively.Chinaalso accounts for over 40% of the global demand for most metals.

In the past 3 years, consumption of zinc exceeded the zinc production because the overseas price of zinc was much lower than domestic, which promoted zinc imports in the country. Also, the demand from industrialization and urbanization greatly stimulated the consumption of zinc. Moreover, Chinese government encouraged to strengthen exploration and development of lead and zinc ores, efficiently using key technology to break through the low grade of ores and supporting the use of renewable resources.

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