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Press Release April 2015
22/04/2015

January to February 2015 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market records small deficit in January to February 2015

The calculated market deficit for primary aluminium for January to February 2015 was 29 kt which follows a deficit of 692 kt recorded for the whole of 2014. Demand for primary aluminium for January and February 2015 was 8.87 million tonnes 919 kt more than the first two months of 2014. Production in January to February 2015 rose by 973 kt compared with 2014. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by a further 228 kt during January and February and at the end of the month were 4792 kt which equated to just over 35 days demand and compares with 5020 kt at the end of 2014. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 4177 kt at the end of February 2015 which was 269 kt below the December 2014 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes especially those held in China.

Overall, global production rose in January to February 2015 rose by 12.4 per cent compared with the first two months of 2014. Chinese output was estimated at 4642.4 kt and this currently accounts for 52.5 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was almost 20 per cent higher than 2014. Chinese net exports were 64.5 kt in January and February and net exports for the whole of 2014 were 313 kt.

Production in the EU28 rose by 2.3 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 3.9 per cent. EU28 demand was 6 kt lower than the comparable 2014 total. Global demand rose by 11.6 per cent during January to February compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In February 2015, primary aluminium production was 4587.3 kt and consumption was 4620.9 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to February 2015

The copper market recorded a surplus of 209 kt in January to February 2015 which follows a surplus of 241 kt in the whole of 2014. Reported stocks rose by 174 kt over the first two months of 2015. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile

World mine production in January to February 2015 was 3.09 million tonnes which was 3.5 per cent higher than in the same period in 2014. Global refined production rose to 3.68 million tonnes up 5.7 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 139 kt).

Global consumption for January to February 2015 was 3471 kt compared to 3502 kt for the same months of 2014. Chinese apparent consumption in January to February 2015 fell by 24.1 kt to 1597 kt which represented 46 per cent of global demand. EU28 production grew by 3.0 per cent and demand was, at 512 kt, 2.2 per cent below the January to February 2014 total.

In February 2015, refined copper production was 1815.8 kt and consumption was 1663.0 kt.

Lead market records small surplus in January to February 2015

The lead market was in surplus by 7.7 kt in January to February 2015 which follows a deficit of 15 kt recorded in the whole of 2014. Total stocks at the end of February were 25.2 kt lower than at the end of 2014. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to February 2015 from both primary and secondary sources was 1650 kt which was 0.5 per cent lower than in the comparable months of 2014. Global demand was 32 kt lower. Apparent consumption in China totalled 652 kt of lead in January to February 2015 which was 15.5 kt below the comparable period in 2014 and represented just under 40 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 9.7 kt.

In February 2015, refined lead production was 822.8 kt and consumption was 806.7 kt.




Zinc market records small surplus in January to February 2015

The zinc market was in surplus by 33.1 kt during January to February 2015 which compares with a deficit of 153 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 76 kt during the January 2015. LME stocks fell by 63.9 kt in February and ended the month 127 kt lower than at the end of 2014. LME stocks represent 55 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 1.1 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 16.8 per cent compared with 2014. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 17.3 kt in February which brought the year to date figure to 41 kt, 88 kt lower than January to February 2014.

Global refined production rose by 5.7 per cent and consumption rose by 5 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 84.2 kt, 2.7 per cent above the equivalent total for January to February 2014.

World demand was 104 kt higher than the January to February 2014. Chinese apparent demand was 940.7 kt which is just under 43 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In February 2015 slab zinc production was 1102.1 and consumption 1110.6 kt.

Nickel market records surplus in January to February 2015

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to February 2015 with production exceeding apparent demand by 20 kt. In the whole of 2014 the calculated surplus was 219.5 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of February were 16 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to February totalled 282.9 kt and demand was 262.9 kt.

Mine production during January to February was 351.9 kt, 30.6 kt above the comparable 2014. The Indonesian export ban and the assumed drastic decline in local mine production began at the beginning of 2014. Japanese refinery output increased by 2.4 kt compared with 2014 and apparent demand was 1.8 kt lower than in 2014.

World apparent demand was 47 kt lower than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In February 2015, nickel smelter production was 140.1 kt and consumption was 127.3 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to February 2015

The tin market recorded a deficit of 1.0 kt during January to February 2015 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 1.0 tonnes during February and ended the period 1.3 kt lower than December 2014.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was up by 0.7 kt, compared with January to February 2014. Apparent demand in China was 5.9 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to February 2014 was 61 kt which was 1.0 per cent above the comparable period of 2014. Japanese consumption was 5.3 kt which was 0.6 kt above the comparable total for 2013.

In February 2015, refined production was 30.1 kt and demand was 30.7 kt


Dated 22nd April 2015
- ENDS-


The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics April 2015 published today.

Editors requiring more detailed information should contact Sue Eales by email at suee@world-bureau.co.uk or by telephone +44 (0) 1920 461274




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