December 15, 2022: World refined lead metal demand exceeded supply by 46 kilotonnes during the first 10 months of 2022 as total stock levels fell by 62kt, according to preliminary figures released by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) on December 14.
Global lead mine production reported to the group fell by 2.1%, which was primarily a consequence of reductions in Australia, Bolivia, China, Greece, Peru, Turkey and the US, the Lisbon-based study group said.
However, lower refined lead metal output in China, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Russia Turkey, Ukraine and the US was partially balanced by rises in India and Japan — resulting in an overall decrease globally of 1.3%.
Refined global lead metal usage fell by 0.4%, which the ILZSG said was primarily influenced by reductions in South Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and Thailand, which were largely offset by rises in Europe, India, Japan and the US,
Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates fell 17% to 462kt, while net exports of refined lead metal totalled 93kt — an increase of 62kt compared to the first 10 months of 2021.
ILZSG market research and statistics director Joao Jorge told the International Conference on Lead & Lead Batteries in New Delhi on December 5 that there would be no major change in trends in the lead market in the short to medium term.
“The main reason is lead’s still-dominant position in the automotive sector. Looking ahead, we are confident that lead batteries can continue to play a significant role in this sector and the growing energy storage market — particularly that generated from renewables,” Jorge said.