The aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and nickel markets were in deficit between January and October 2019, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics’ December 2019 report.

 

Aluminum

Global primary aluminum production had a deficit of 298,000mt from January to October of this year, compared to a 667,000mt deficit between those same months in 2018. 

 

Primary aluminum production dropped by 317,000mt in the first 10 months of 2019, compared to the same period a year ago. During that span, global production fell 0.6pc in 2019 compared to 2018. Chinese output, which accounts for 57pc of world production, rose 0.7pc to 29.2mn mt through the first 10 months of 2019 compared to the first 10 months of 2018. 

 

Global demand declined 1.5pc between January and October 2019, compared to the same 10-month period in 2018. Demand for primary aluminum was 51.92mn mt during those months, down from 52.70mn mt in 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminum totaled 304,000mt, which declined from 309,000mt in 2018. Chinese exports of aluminum semi finished products totaled 4,.03mn mt against 3.8mn mt over the same 10-month period in 2018. 

 

EU 28 production rose 1.2pc over the previous year, while NAFTA output increased 5.3pc. EU 28 demand was 302,000mt lower than it was through the first 10 months of 2018. In October, primary aluminium production was 5.19mn mt and consumption was 5.16mn mt.

 

Copper

The market recorded a deficit of 187,000mt between January and October 2019, which follows a deficit of 275,000mt through all of 2018.  Stocks increased by 79,000mt from Dec 2018. The October increase covers net deliveries of 3,800mt out of the LME warehouses and 25,500mt mt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks declined 67,500mt between January and October of this year. 

 

World mine production in the first 10 months of the year totaled 17.00mn mt, up 1.4pc over the same period in 2018. Refined production for the January to October period amounted to 19.42mn mt, down 0.8pc from the same 10-month period in 2018 with significant decreases recorded in India (114,000mt) and Chile (197,000mt)

Consumption during the period was 19.61mn mt compared to 19.81mn mt in 2018, fuelled by Chinese apparent demand of 10.26mn mt, which increased 0.45pc. 

 

Lead

The lead market recorded a deficit of 281,000mt, which follows a deficit of 243,000mt in 2018. Total stocks at the end of October were 30,000mt lower than in December 2018. 

Global refined production during between January and October 2019 from both primary and secondary sources totaled 10.09mn mt, up 5.8pc over the same 10-month period last year. 

Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 47mn mt, 581,000mt higher than in 2018, which represented 46pc of the world’s total. Apparent demand in the US demand decreased 7,000mt for the January to October 2019 period as compared to the same time last year. 

 

Zinc

The market recorded a deficit of 85,000mt between January and October, compared to a surplus of 109,000mt through the first 10 months of 2018. Reported stocks decreased 29,000mt with a net increase of 44,000mt in Shanghai. LME stocks, which represented 10.6pc of the global total, fell again in October and closed at 74,500mt below December 2018. A bulk of the metal was held in Taiwanese and Dutch warehouses.

The world’s refined production rose 3pc, with consumption up 5.7pc over 2018. World demand was up by 621,000mt compared to same period a year ago. 

Apparent demand in Japan increased 7.8pc to 432,000mt over the same period last year. Chinese apparent demand comprised 48pc of the global total of 5.69mn mt.

 

Nickel

High demand for steel caused world nickel production to report a deficit of 404,000mt with apparent demand for nickel exceeding production during the period of January to October 2019. The world apparent demand for nickel was 38,000mt higher than in 2018.

The total nickel production deficit was reported as 102,900mt in 2018. The refined production in the January to October 2019 period was 1.97mn mt against demand of 2.01mn mt. 

 

Mine production during the first 10 months rose 2.09mn mt against 2,21mn mt in 2018.

Chinese smelter/refinery output went up 88,000mt compared to 2018. Demand was 1.07mn mt, up 161,000mt over the year prior.  

In October 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 229,500mt and consumption was 204,500mt.

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