Refined lead metal supply set to exceed demand

Refined lead metal supply set to exceed demand

Refined lead metal supply set to exceed demand 732 494 Batteries International

May 24, 2024: Global supply of refined lead metal is forecast to exceed demand by 40,000 tonnes in 2024, according to latest data released by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group.

Demand is expected to rise by almost 2% this year to more than 13 million tonnes, the Lisbon-based ILZSG said on April 24.

In the US, ‘apparent’ (production + imports-exports + stock) usage, is forecast to partially recover by 0.7% after falling by nearly 4% in 2023.

European usage, which increased by nearly 7% last year on the back of increased automotive production, is expected to see a further 1% rise this year.

Meanwhile Chinese demand is forecast to grow by a further 1.6% after rising 2% in 2023. Increases are also expected in India, Japan, South Korea and Mexico.

On supply, the ILZSG said world lead mine production is forecast to grow by nearly 2% to more than 4 million tonnes — mainly due to increases in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Mexico that are expected to more than balance reductions in Ireland and Portugal.

In China output is expected to rise by 1% after increasing by 0.7% in 2023.

World refined lead metal output is forecast to increase by 1.4% to more than 13 million tonnes this year. The increase will be mainly influenced by rises in Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. However, production in the US and Canada is expected to fall.

In Europe, expected rises in Bulgaria and Italy this year will be partially offset by forecast falls in Poland and the UK, resulting in overall growth of less than 1%.

ILZSG market research and statistics director João Jorge told Batteries International last October that as the battery sector is by far the main lead-consuming sector, increases in usage would indicate an increase in battery production.