Market Speaks: Global Aluminium, Lead, Zinc And Nickel Markets Remain In Deficit Says WBMS

Market Speaks: Global Aluminium, Lead, Zinc And Nickel Markets Remain In Deficit Says WBMS

Jul 18, 2019 07:07 IST capital market

According to a latest monthly update from the World Bureus Of Metal Statistics (WBMS), The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to May 2019 was a deficit of 344 kt which follows a deficit of 993 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to May 2019 was 25.82 million tonnes, 476 kt more than in the same five months of 2018. Production in January to May 2019 rose by 556 kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell during May and closed at the end of the month 350 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks rose during May with increases in Asia more than compensating for falls in Europe and USA. Total stocks at the end of May 2019 were 2079 kt which compares with 2429 kt at the end of 2018. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1649 kt at the end of May 2019 which were 303 kt lower than in December 2018 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production rose in January to May 2019 by 2.2 per cent compared with the first five months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 14458 kt and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 9.1 per cent higher than in January to May 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 203 kt during January to May 2019 which compares with 170 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to May 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 2062 kt which compares with 1689 kt for the first five months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 2.5 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 6.4 per cent. EU28 demand was 18 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand rose by 2.0 per cent during January to May 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In May 2019, primary aluminium production was 5241.6 kt and consumption was 5482.9 kt.

The copper market recorded a surplus of 21 kt in January to May 2019 which follows a deficit of 19 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks rose each month in between January and April but fell back in May to close at the end of May 90 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. This increase includes net deliveries of 55 kt into the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 47 kt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 71 kt over the first five months of the year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile.

World mine production in January to May 2019 was 8.43 million tonnes which was 0.5 per cent lower than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to May 2019 was 9.22 million tonnes down 5.9 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 108 kt) and in Chile (down 154kt).

Global consumption for January to May 2019 was 9.20 million tonnes compared with 9.72 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to May 2019 was 4678 kt which was 4.6 per cent lower than the first five months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 1.1 per cent and demand was 1370 kt, 4.5 per cent below the January to May 2018 total.

In May 2019, refined copper production was 1864.7 kt and consumption was 1876.6 kt.

The lead market recorded a deficit of 162 kt in January to May 2019 which follows a deficit of 280 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of May were 19 kt lower than at the end of 2018. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to May 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 5177 kt which was 9.8 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018 Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 2462 kt which was 499 kt higher than the comparable period in 2018 and represented about 46 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has increased by 13 kt for January to May 2019 compared to the same months of 2018.

In May 2019, refined lead production was 1023.4 kt and consumption was 1030.6 kt.

The zinc market was in deficit by 47 kt during January to May 2019 which compares with a surplus of 67 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks increased by 27 kt during January to May with a net increase in Shanghai of 39 kt over the period. LME stocks fell in each month of the first quarter but rose in April and May to close 29 kt below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 18 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in US and Dutch warehouses.

Global refined production fell by 2.8 per cent and consumption was 3.5 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 217.4 kt, 2.9 per cent below the equivalent total for January to May 2018.

World demand was 186 kt higher than for January to May 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 2552 kt which is 47 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In May 2019, slab zinc production was 1119.8 kt and consumption 1136.5 kt.

The nickel market was in deficit during January to May 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 57.3 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 91.3 kt.. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of May 2019 were 47.5 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to May 2019 totalled 906.0 kt and demand was 963.4 kt.

Mine production during January to May was 985.4 kt, 81 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 47 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 65 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 35 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In May 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 209.5 kt and consumption was 227.1 kt.

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