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Latest stocks in the licensed warehous-
es of the LME were 70 100 tonnes.
The latest session of the International
Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) in
Portugal in the last week of October
heard that global demand for refined
lead metal is forecast to fall by 0.5% to
11.81 million tonnes this year and to
rise by 0.8% to 11.90 million tonnes in
2020. In 2019, usage in China is
expected to fall by 1.1%, influenced by
a decline in automotive production and
increased use of lithium-ion batteries in
both the motorcycle and e-bike sec-
* Ralf Schmitz, German non-ferrous
trade association VDM (Europe)
* Robin Latchem
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Usage is forecast to decrease by 0.7%
both in Europe and the United States
in 2019. The automotive sector has
been underperforming in these mar-
kets, with new car sales stagnating in
many leading countries. In the US, bat-
tery shipments declined by more than
3% between January and August com-
pared to the same period of 2018.
However, according to the Group’s lat-
est predictions, refined lead usage will
recover by 0.8% in Europe and 1.2% in
the US in 2020.
Zinc prices continue to move at a solid
level, with three-month commodities
valued at US$ 2 496 per tonne. On the
German market, special high grade zinc
reached US$ 3 210 per tonne, old zinc
scrap was worth US$ 2 349 per tonne.
Visible zinc stocks in the licensed ware-
houses of the LME have been steadily
declining for some weeks, with their lat-
est value reaching 55 225 tonnes.
According to the ILZSG, world demand
for refined zinc metal is forecast to fall
by 0.1% to 13.67 million tonnes in 2019
and to rise by 0.9% to 13.80 million
tonnes in 2020.
In China, demand is expected to grow
by 0.6% in 2019, after declining in the
two previous years. In 2019, European
demand is predicted to fall by 3.7%,
mainly influenced by decreases in
Germany and the United Kingdom,
where the largest galvanizer, British
Steel, was declared insolvent in May.
World zinc mine production is forecast
to increase by 2% to 13.02 million
tonnes in 2019 and by a further 4.7%
to 13.64 million tonnes in 2020.
Quotations remain at a high level and,
at the time of writing, were trading on
the LME at US$ 16 775 – 16 800 per
tonne for date goods. Nickel stocks
have been in decline most recently,
totalling 66 990 tonnes, according to
LME data. One reason for this may well
be Indonesia’s proposed ban on
exports of nickel ore from January
2020. Analysts therefore expect nickel
prices to remain stable next year.
However, weaker supply is likely to be
counteracted by the weak nickel
demand in the stainless steel industry.
The nickel market must therefore still
be viewed with caution.
62-63-64-65_manon-ferrous.indd 65 13-11-19 14:32