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September 21, 2022

January to July 2022 Metals Balances

The most recent metal balances report shows the primary aluminium, copper, lead, tin, and nickel metal balances were in deficit and zinc metal balance was in surplus during January to July 2022. Read on to unpack the latest update on the LME metals balances.

January to July 2022 Metals Balances

The most recent metal balances report shows the primary aluminium, copper, lead, tin, and nickel metal balances were in deficit and zinc metal balance was in surplus during January to July 2022. Read on to unpack the latest update on the LME metals balances.

Primary aluminium metal balance in deficit in January to July 2022
 
The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for the period of January to July 2022 was a deficit of 916 kt which follows a deficit of 1558 kt recorded for the whole of 2021. Demand for primary aluminium for January to July 2022 was 40.192 million tonnes, 215 kt less than in the comparable period in 2021. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and national lockdowns may have distorted the trade statistics. Production in January to July 2022 fell by 0.7 per cent. Total reported stocks fell over the seven months to close at the end of the period 737 kt below the December 2021 level.  Total LME stocks (Including off warrant stocks) were 621 kt at the end of July 2022 which compares with 1213.4 kt at the end of 2021. Shanghai stocks decreased in July and ended the period 138 kt below the December 2021 total.  No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.
 
Overall, global production of primary aluminium fell in January to July 2022 by 0.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2021. Chinese output was estimated at 22,945 kt despite recording higher availability of imported feedstocks during the early months of the year. Chinese metal production currently accounts for about 58 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 2.0 per cent lower than in January to July 2021 and the output of semi-manufactures rose by 0.7 per cent compared with the production in 2021. China became a net importer of unwrought aluminium in 2020. During January to July 2022 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 3564 kt which compares with 4926 kt for the whole of 2021. Exports of semi manufactures rose by 29 per cent compared with the January to July 2021 total
 
Japanese demand was up by 61 kt and US demand increased by 539 kt. Global demand fell by 0.5 per cent during January to July 2022 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
 
July metal balances for primary aluminium recorded production at 5572.0 kt and demand at 5839.9 kt.

Copper metal balance in deficit in January to July 2022
 
The copper market recorded a deficit of 490 kt in January to July 2022 which follows a deficit of 283 kt in the whole of 2021. Reported LME stocks (including off warrant stocks) at the end of June 2022 were 47 kt higher than at the end of December 2021. Net deliveries out of Shanghai warehouses were 1.2 kt and Comex stocks decreased by 6.8 kt. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns will have distorted the trade statistics. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile.
 
World mine production in January to July 2022 was 12.45 million tonnes which was 1.4 per cent higher than the first seven months of 2021. Global refined production for January to July 2022 was 14.3 million tonnes up 0.7 per cent compared with the previous year with significant increases recorded in China and India of 203 kt and 38kt respectively.
 
Global demand in January to July 2022 was 14.78 million tonnes which was 2.8 per cent higher than the total recorded for January to July 2021. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to July 2022 was 8.19 million tonnes which was 3.8 per cent higher than the comparable period in 2021. Reported output of semi manufactures in China rose by 2.6 per cent. US refined copper production was 587.4 kt which was 28.7 kt higher than the comparable months of 2021.
 
July metal balances for refined copper recorded production at 2015.5 kt and demand at 2176.3 kt.

Lead metal balance records deficit in January to July 2022
 
The lead market recorded a deficit of 94 kt in January to July 2022 which follows a deficit of 82.8 kt recorded in the whole of 2021. Total stocks at the end of July were 25.4 kt lower than at the end of 2021. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Demand is measured on an apparent basis, and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns will have distorted the trade statistics.
 
World refined production during January to July 2022 from both primary and secondary sources was 8384.3 kt which was 2.1 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2021. Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 4168.0 kt which was almost the same as the comparable period in 2021 and represented about 49 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 23 kt for January to July 2022 compared to the same months of 2021.
 
July metal balances for refined lead recorded production at 1203.0 kt and demand at 1187.3 kt.

Zinc metal balance records surplus in January to July 2022
 
The zinc market was in surplus by 347 kt during January to July 2022 which compares with a deficit of 115.1 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks decreased by 68.3 kt during January and July 2022 which included a net increase in Shanghai of 39 kt over the period. LME (including off warrant) stocks closed 123 kt below the December 2021 level. Total LME stocks represent 16per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in Asian and US warehouses. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.
 
Global refined production fell in January to July 2022 by 0.4 per cent and demand was 6 per cent lower compared to the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 293 kt, 9.4 per cent below the equivalent total for January to July 2021.
 
World demand was 6.0 per cent lower than from the level recorded for January to July 2021. Chinese apparent demand was 3646.0 kt which is 47 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.
 
July metal balances for slab zinc recorded production at 1106.4 kt and demand at 1152.4 kt.

Nickel metal balance records deficit in January to July 2022
 
The nickel market was in deficit during January to July 2022 with apparent demand exceeding production by 48.0 kt. In the whole of 2021, the calculated deficit was 150.5 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME (Including Off warrant stocks) at the end of July 2022 were 41.7 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to July 2022 totalled 1600.2 kt and demand was 1648.3 kt.
 
Mine production during January to July 2022 was 1728.3 kt, 215 kt above the comparable 2021 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output fell by 44.5 kt compared with the first seven months 2021 and apparent demand in China was 891.9 kt, 19.8 kt higher than in the previous year. In Indonesia, smelter/refinery production in January to July 2022 was 586.2 kt which is 18 per cent higher than 2021.
 
World apparent demand was 49 kt higher in January to July 2022 than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.
 
July metal balances for nickel smelter/refinery recorded production at 242.6 kt and demand was 235.6 kt.

Tin metal balance records deficit in January to July 2022
 
The tin market recorded a deficit of 7.9 kt during January to July 2022.  Chinese demand is calculated on an apparent basis using reported stocks on the Shanghai exchange.  Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.
 
Global reported production of refined metal was down by 39.3 kt, compared with the January to July 2021 total. Chinese reported production reached a total of 87.8 kt for the January to July period. Japanese apparent demand was 14.0 kt which was 18 per cent below the comparable total for 2021, Apparent demand in China was 29 per cent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.
 
Global tin demand during January to July 2022 was 201.2 kt which was 13.9 per cent lower than the comparable period of 2021. US apparent demand fell by 1.4 per cent year on year to 18.4 kt
 
July metal balances for refined tin recorded production at 19.9 kt and consumption at 21.5 kt.  

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