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Lead May 18, 2017 12:30:15 PM

Primary Aluminum Market Deficit Widens In Q1 ‘17; Copper Surplus Shrinks

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The global primary Aluminum and Lead markets recorded marginal deficits during Jan-Mar ’17. On the other hand, copper market recorded marginal surplus during the initial three-month period of the year.
Primary Aluminum Market Deficit Widens In Q1 ‘17; Copper Surplus Shrinks

SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) has published the Metals Balances Report for the first quarter of the current year. The global primary Aluminum and Lead markets recorded marginal deficits during Jan-Mar ’17. On the other hand, copper market recorded minor surplus during the three-month period.

Aluminum                                                                                                                                       

The latest report published by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) indicates that global primary aluminum market has recorded a marginal deficit during the initial three months of 2017. As per the report, the market reported a deficit of 356,000 tons when matched with the deficit of 1.120 million tons reported for the entire year 2016.

The production of primary aluminum has surged higher by 990,000 tonnes during the three-month period from January to March this year. The total reported stock of metal declined further by 175,000 tonnes during the month of March alone. The stocks at the end of the initial three-month period stood at 2,670 kt, which is sufficient to meet 17 days demand. It must be noted that the stock levels at the end of 2016 had stood at 2,761 kt. The combined stocks held in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo exchanges totaled 2,238 kt at the end of March, down by 87 kt when matched with end-2016 levels.

Global production rose considerably by 7.2% during the period from January to March in 2017. China, with estimated production of 8,201 kt, accounted for just under 56% of the world production. Production in the EU-28 region rose marginally by 1.73% whereas the output by NAFTA region fell by 5.9% year-on-year. The primary aluminum production for the month of March alone was 4,910.1 kt, whereas the consumption totaled 5,066.7 kt.

The net exports of Chinese aluminum semi manufacturers totaled 858 kt during the first three months of the year, when compared with 862 kt during Jan-Mar ’15.

The WBMS report also states that the global aluminum demand increased by 1.148 million tons during January to March in 2017 to total 15.05 million tonnes, when compared with the corresponding period in 2016. The Chinese apparent demand was modestly higher by 13% when compared with 2016. However, EU-28 demand declined during January to March this year by 13 kt when compared with the year before.

Copper

The global copper market has recorded a surplus of 148 kt during January to March this year. It must be noted that the worldwide copper market had reported a surplus of 199 kt for the entire year 2016.

The global mine production during the period from January to March this year totaled 4.97 million tonnes. The mine production has grown by 2.2% when matched with the corresponding three-month period in 2016. Meantime, global refined copper output declined marginally by 0.1% over the previous year to 5.76 million tonnes. Chinese refined copper output reported significant increase of 146,000 tonnes during this period. However, refined copper production was down sharply by 123,000 tonnes in Chile during the three-month period.

The global copper demand during Jan-Mar ’16 stood at 5.61 million tonnes, slightly lower when compared with 5.70 million tonnes during the same period in 2016. The Chinese apparent consumption dropped by 180,000 tonnes during this period to total 2.671 million tonnes. The Chinese demand accounted for just under 48% of the global demand. Also, EU-28 apparent consumption declined considerably by 4.7% from Jan-Mar ’16 levels to 834.6 kt.

According to the report, reported stocks of the metal stood higher by 193,000 tonnes during the initial three-month period of the year when compared with 2016 closing. The reported stocks increased modestly during the month of March.

The refined copper output during the month of March this year alone was 1,957.8 kt, whereas consumption during the month totaled 1,987.3 kt.

Lead

The global lead market has recorded a deficit of 104,000 tonnes during January to March this year. It must be noted that the worldwide lead market had reported a deficit of 171 kt for the entire year 2016.

The global refined lead output during Jan-Mar ’17 increased by 13.6% over the previous year to 2,965 kt. This is inclusive of production from primary and secondary sources.

The global lead demand during Jan-Mar ‘17 has surged higher by 416 kt. The Chinese apparent consumption in January to March 2017 totaled 1,306 kt, which is higher by 330 kt when matched with the corresponding three-month period in 2016. The Chinese apparent consumption represented almost 43% of the global total. The apparent demand increased by 100 kt during January to March when compared with the first three months of 2016.

The reported stocks of the metal at the end of March this year has increased by 20.2 kt when matched with the stock levels during the end of 2016.

The refined lead production during the month of March ’17 alone totaled 1,005.7 kt, whereas the consumption totaled 1,054.3 kt.

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