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WMS Market Balances
20/04/2016

January to February 2016 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market balanced in January to February 2016

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to February 2016 was a tiny surplus of 9.5 kt which follows a deficit of 311 kt recorded for the whole of 2015. Demand for primary aluminium for January to February 2016 was 8.89 million tonnes 12 kt more than the first two months of 2015. Production in January to February 2016 fell by 26 kt compared with 2015. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 25 kt during February and at the end of the month were 3636 kt which equated to 23 days demand and compares with 3787 kt at the end of 2015. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 3109 kt at the end of February 2016 which was 124 kt below the December 2015 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production fell in January to February 2016 by 0.3 per cent compared with the first two months of 2015. Chinese output was estimated at 4550 kt and this currently accounts for more than 51 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.9 per cent lower than 2015. Chinese net exports were 58 kt in January to February and net exports for the whole of 2015 were 342 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China have fallen from 719 in January to February 2015 to 537 in the first two months of 2016.

Production in the EU28 rose by 3.1 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 2.4 per cent. EU28 demand was 102 kt lower than the comparable 2015 total. Global demand rose by 0.1 per cent during January to February compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In February 2016, primary aluminium production was 4168.2 kt and consumption was 4209.9 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to February 2016

The copper market recorded a surplus of 120 kt in January to February 2016 which follows a surplus of 463 kt in the whole of 2015. Reported stocks rose during February and closed 107 kt higher than at the end of December 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 2016 was 3.27 million tonnes which was 7.9 per cent higher than in the same period in 2015. Global refined production rose to 3.97 million tonnes up 8.3 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 203 kt) and Chile (up 15 kt).

Global consumption for January to February 2016 was 3850 kt compared with 3434 kt for the same months of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption in January to February 2016 rose by 483 kt to 2033 kt compared to the same months of 2015 which represented 53 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 0.4 per cent and demand was 493 kt, 5.5 per cent below the January to February 2015 total.

In February 2016, refined copper production was 1973.9 kt and consumption was 1929.2 kt.

Lead market records surplus in January to February 2016

The lead market was in surplus by 13 kt in January to February 2016 which follows a surplus of 26 kt recorded in the whole of 2015. Total stocks at the end of February were 24 kt lower than at the end of 2015. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to February 2016 from both primary and secondary sources was 1678.3 kt which was 2.4 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2015. Global demand was 37 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 622 kt of lead in January to February 2016 which was 4 kt below the comparable period in 2015 and represented over 37 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 2 kt for January to February 2016 compared to January to February 2015.

In February 2016, refined lead production was 837.5 kt and consumption was 834.0 kt.




Zinc market records surplus in January to February 2016

The zinc market was in surplus by 110 kt during January to February 2016 which compares with a surplus of 121 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 70 kt during the two month period. LME stocks rose by 3 kt in February and ended the month 12 kt higher than at the end of 2015. LME stocks represent 41 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 6.9 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 1.3 per cent compared with 2015. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 45 kt in February which brought the year to date figure to 104kt, 63 kt higher than in January to February 2015.

Global refined production fell by 2.8 per cent and consumption fell by 0.9 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 82.2 kt, 0.7 per cent above the equivalent total for January to February 2015.

World demand was 19 kt lower than for January to February 2015. Chinese apparent demand was 997 kt which is over 47 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In February 2016 slab zinc production was 1095.2 and consumption 1052.6 kt.

Nickel market records small deficit in January to February 2016

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to February 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production by 4.4 kt. In the whole of 2015 the calculated surplus was 10.8 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of February were 1.4 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to February totalled 322 kt and demand was 326.5 kt.

Mine production during January to February was 317.7 kt, 2 kt below the comparable 2015 total. The Indonesian export ban and the assumed drastic decline in local mine production began at the beginning of 2014. Japanese smelter/refinery output increased by 5.5 kt compared with 2015 and apparent demand was 1.1 kt lower than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 32 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In February 2016, nickel smelter/refinery production was 160.8 kt and consumption was 165.5 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to February 2016

The tin market recorded a deficit of 2.1 kt during January to February 2016 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell slightly during February and ended the period 2.6 kt lower than December 2015.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was up by 4.1 kt, compared with January to February 2015. Production in Asia increased from 47.8 kt in January to February 2015 to 52.9 kt in the comparable period in 2016. Apparent demand in China was 14 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to February 2016 was 63.7 kt which was 2.9 per cent above the comparable period of 2015. Japanese consumption was 4.3 kt which was 1 kt below the comparable total for 2015.

In February 2016, refined production was 30.9 kt and demand was 31.1 kt


Dated 20th April 2016
- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics April 2016 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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Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

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