August 30, 2023: The global market for refined lead metal was in surplus by 25kt over the first half of 2023, with total reported inventories remaining more or less unchanged, according to latest data published on August 23 by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
The Lisbon-based group said global lead mine production rose by 3.3% over the same period.
This was primarily a consequence of increases in Kazakhstan, South Africa and Australia, where Galena Mining successfully commissioned its 95,000 tonne per year Abra mine in January.
The group said a 1.9% rise in global lead metal production was mainly a result of higher output in Australia, China, India and South Korea.
However, in Europe output fell by 4.8%, largely due to reductions in Bulgaria, Italy and the UK, which were partially balanced by an increase in Germany.
Rises in refined lead metal usage in Mexico and India were more than balanced by falls in Europe, South Korea, Turkey and the US, resulting in an overall decrease globally of 0.9%.
Meanwhile, Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates increased by 30.8% to 316kt. Net exports of refined lead metal totalled 76kt compared to net imports of 89kt over the same period of 2022.