Primary lead and zinc outputs increased by 3.9pc and 0.9pc in January-November 2020, compared with the same 11 months in 2019, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
Lead market in deficit
The lead market remained in a 86,000mt deficit in the 11 months ended November 30, 2020, according to WBMS, slightly more than the deficit of 76,000mt reported at the end of 2019. In November, lead production stood at 1.2mn mt. Refined lead production tallied at 11.97mn mt in January-November, up 3.9pc from the same time frame in 2019, driven by demand from China.
The Asian nation’s apparent demand for lead was estimated at 5.79mn mt during the period under review, up by 420,000mt from January-November 2019 and represented around 48pc of global demand for lead. Demand for the metal in the US declined by 101,000mt during the same period under comparison. Global demand in November was estimated by WBMS at 1.21mn mt.
Zinc market in surplus
The global zinc market saw a 356,000mt surplus in the first 11 months of 2020, compared with a 76,000mt deficit reported at the end of 2019, WBMS indicated. However, the demand for zinc dropped by 2.7pc or 340,000mt compared with the first 11 months of the previous year. Demand for zinc in China, which was estimated at 6.3mn mt by WBMS, made up for more than half of the world’s demand for the metal. In November, global demand was estimated at 1.21mn mt while slab zinc production tallied at 1.20mn mt.