Global – The world refined lead market is likely to record a small deficit of 17 000 tonnes in 2015, according to the latest forecasts published by the International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Meanwhile, global demand for refined zinc is expected to exceed supply by 151 000 tonnes in the current year – a figure lower than that indicated by the organisation during its meetings in October last year because of a downward revision of China’s net imports.
An increase of 1.1% to 11.05 million tonnes is projected for global usage of refined lead this year. Demand in the key Chinese market is thought likely to be limited to just 1%, not least because of ‘a slowdown of sales in the e-bike sector which accounts for over 30% of domestic lead metal usage’. Consumption in Europe is forecast to rise by 0.8% and in the USA by 1.2%. The ILZSG also expects a 1.1% increase for world refined lead production this year, giving a total of 11.03 million tonnes.
For refined zinc, meanwhile, world demand is forecast to rise by 3.7% to 14.14 million tonnes this year. After leaping 8.7% in 2014, usage in China is expected to rise by 4.8% in 2015 while growth in Europe and the USA is projected to be, respectively, 2.4% and 6%. Global refined zinc production is expected to advance 5.2% to 13.99 million tonnes this year, mostly due to predicted growth in Chinese output of 8.9%.
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