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WBMS Press Release June 2016
15/06/2016

January to April 2016 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to April 2016

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to April 2016 was a deficit of 298 kt which follows a deficit of 308 kt recorded for the whole of 2015. Demand for primary aluminium for January to April 2016 was 18.84 million tonnes 61 kt more than the first four months of 2015. Production in January to April 2016 fell by 61 kt compared with 2015. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 183 kt during April and at the end of the month were 3470 kt which equated to 22 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 2984 kt at the end of April 2016 which was 248 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 April 2016 by 1.1 per cent compared with the first four months of 2015. Chinese output was estimated at 9905 kt and this currently accounts for more than 53 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 0.2 per cent higher than 2015. Chinese net exports were 141 kt in January to April and net exports for the whole of 2015 were 342 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China have fallen from 1326 in January to April 2015 to 1190 in the first four months of 2016.

Production in the EU28 rose by 2.3 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 7.7 per cent. EU28 demand was 26 kt lower than the comparable 2015 total. Global demand rose by 0.3 per cent during January to April compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In April 2016, primary aluminium production was 4708.9 kt and consumption was 4972.4 kt.

Copper market records small surplus in January to April 2016

The copper market recorded a surplus of 26 kt in January to April 2016 which follows a surplus of 404 kt in the whole of 2015. Reported stocks fell during April but closed 178 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 April 2016 was 6.47 million tonnes which was 5.1 per cent higher than in the same period in 2015. Global refined production rose to 7.81 million tonnes up 5.7 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 252 kt) and Chile (up 48 kt).

Global consumption for January to April 2016 was 7784 kt compared with 7234 kt for the same months of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption in January to April 2016 rose by 429 kt to 3851 kt compared to the same months of 2015 which represented 50 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 1.9 per cent and demand was 1186 kt, 8.3 per cent above the January to April 2015 total.

In April 2016, refined copper production was 1969.9 kt and consumption was 2079.5 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to April 2016

The lead market was in deficit by 29 kt in January to April 2016 which follows a deficit of 4 kt recorded in the whole of 2015. Total stocks at the end of April were 2.6 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 April 2016 from both primary and secondary sources was 3369.5 kt which was 1.3 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2015. Global demand was 79 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 1245 kt of lead in January to April 2016 which was 17 kt below the comparable period in 2015 and represented almost 37 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 21 kt for January to April 2016 compared to January to April 2015.

In April 2016, refined lead production was 856.0 kt and consumption was 861.7 kt.




Zinc market records tiny surplus in January to April 2016

The zinc market was in surplus by 6.7 kt during January to April 2016 which compares with a surplus of 106 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 6 kt during the four month period. LME stocks fell by 33 kt in April and ended the month 61 kt lower than at the end of 2015. LME stocks represent 37 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 5.6 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China fell by 0.7 per cent compared with 2015. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 39 kt in April which brought the year to date figure to 220 kt, 87 kt higher than in January to April 2015.

Global refined production fell by 4.5 per cent and consumption rose by 0.4 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 132.1 kt, 25 per cent below the equivalent total for January to April 2015.

World demand was 16 kt higher than for January to April 2015. Chinese apparent demand was 2074 kt which is over 47 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In April 2016 slab zinc production was 1112.7 and consumption 1172.3 kt.

Nickel market records small deficit in January to April 2016

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to April 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production by 8.8 kt. In the whole of 2015 the calculated surplus was 45.0 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of April were 23.8 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to April totalled 568 kt and demand was 577 kt.

Mine production during January to April was 690.1 kt, 19.3 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 6.6 kt compared with 2015 and apparent demand was 3.3 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 86 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In April 2016, nickel smelter/refinery production was 145.5 kt and consumption was 157.0 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to April 2016

The tin market recorded a deficit of 3.8 kt during January to April 2016 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks rose by 1 kt during April and ended the period 6.5 kt lower than December 2015.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was up by 8.3 kt, compared with January to April 2015. Production in Asia increased from 91.2 kt in January to April 2015 to 101.2 kt in the comparable period in 2016. Apparent demand in China was 12 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to April 2016 was 123 kt which was 4.3 per cent above the comparable period of 2015. Japanese consumption was 8.6 kt which was 1 kt below the comparable total for 2015.

In April 2016, refined production was 29.5 kt and demand was 29.9 kt


Dated 15th June 2016
- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics June 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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