The global lead market was in a deficit of 164,000mt in January-April 2021, while demand exceeded supply in the zinc market by 38,000mt, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
The current numbers compare to a deficit of 113,000mt in lead and a surplus of 607,000mt in the zinc market at the end of 2020.
Lead production rises
Global production of refined lead was 15pc higher in January-April 2021 at 4.58mn mt, compared with the first four months of 2020. Refined lead production in April this year was 1.12mn mt while demand was 1.16mn mt, WBMS noted.
Chinese apparent demand at an estimated 2.27mn mt, made up 48pc of the global total in this period, which means 554,000mt higher than the same timeframe last year. Apparent demand in the US increased by 58,000mt in January-April compared with the same period last year.
Global demand for zinc increases
Demand for refined zinc in the first four months of this year grew by 13.6pc to 564,000mt compared to the same four months last year. On the other hand, production rose by 5pc compared to the same period of 2020. Slab zinc production was 1.14mn mt in April against a demand of 1.19mn mt.
At 188,000mt, apparent demand in Japan was 30pc higher in January-April than in the same period in 2020. Chinese apparent demand was 2.34mn mt in this period, making up for 50pc of the global total.