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WBMS PRESS RELEASE August 2011
17/08/2011

January and June 2011 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market remains in surplus January to June 2011

The calculated market surplus for primary aluminium for January to June 2011 was 221.3 kt which compares with a surplus of 516.2 kt registered in the first half of 2010 and with a surplus of 1036 kt in the whole of 2010. Demand for primary aluminium in the first six months of 2011 was 21.06 million tonnes, 872 kt more then the equivalent total 2010. Production in January to June rose by 578 kt following on from a 3.9 million ton increase over the whole of 2010. Total reported stocks fell by 364 kt during June. At the end of June total stocks were 6.61 million tonnes which equated to just over 60 days demand and compares with 6.50 million tonnes at the end of last year. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 4716 kt at the end of June which was 26 kt above the December 2010 total. Global producer stocks at the end of June were 1474 kt which was 78 kt above last year’s close. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes especially those held in China.

Overall, global production rose in January to June by 2.8 per cent compared with the first half of 2010. Chinese output was estimated at 8686 kt and this currently accounts for just under 41 per cent of the world production total. China was a net exporter of unwrought aluminium with exports exceeding imports by 185 kt. During the whole of the 2010 calendar year, Chinese net exports totalled 390 kt.

Production in the EU27 rose by 6.7 per cent and NAFTA output was 3.7 per cent higher. EU27 demand was 12.4 per cent above the January to June 2010 period. Global demand rose by 4.3 per cent in the first half of the year compared with the levels recorded one year ago.

In June 2011, primary aluminium production was 3662.4 kt and consumption was 3747.9 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to June 2011

The copper market recorded a surplus of 107.4 kt In January to June 2011 which compares with a surplus of 84 kt in the whole of 2010. Reported stocks fell again during June but ended the month 32 kt higher than at the end of 2010. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile

World mine production in January to June was 7.93 million tonnes which was 2.2 per cent higher than in the same months of 2010. In the first half of 2011, refined production rose to 9.64 million tonnes up 1.4 per cent compared to the same months last year. Chinese output rose by 268 kt. Chilean metal production fell by 59 kt to 1544 kt.

Global consumption for January to June 2011 was 9531 kt and the 2010 calendar year total was 19.11 million tonnes. Chinese apparent consumption fell by 253 kt to 3508 kt which represented almost 37 per cent of global demand. EU27 demand was, at 1752 kt, 3 per cent above the January to June 2010 total.

In June 2011, refined copper production was 1634.7 kt and consumption was 1668.9 kt.

Lead market records smaller surplus in January to June 2011

The lead market was in surplus by 14.1 kt in January to June 2011 which compares with a surplus of 57.9 kt recorded in the first half of 2010. Total stocks at the end of June were 122.1 kt higher than at the end of 2010 with almost all of the increase registered in LME warehouses. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

Lead mine production was 2099.4 kt which was 8.3 per cent above the total recorded for the first six months of 2010. Refined production from both primary and secondary sources was 4786.8 kt. Both production and demand were about 11 per cent above the January to June 2010 levels increasing by 454 and 498 kt respectively. Chinese apparent consumption totalled 2201 kt of lead in January to June 2011 which was 412 kt above the comparable period in 2010.

In June 2011, refined lead production was 837.4 kt and consumption was 844.0 kt.



Zinc market records surplus in January to June 2011

The zinc market was in surplus by 427 kt during January to June 2011 which compares with a surplus of 395 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 263 kt with almost all of the increase recorded at LME warehouses. LME stocks represented 78 per cent of the global total. The global demand total included a rise in the apparent demand figure for China of 3.2 per cent. According to Chinese customs data, imports remain at historically high levels. Much of the Chinese imports originate from other Asian countries. Exports reported by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan confirm the Chinese imports.

Refined production and consumption rose by 3.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively compared with the very low levels recorded at the beginning of last year. Japanese demand was, at 249.7 kt, 1.8 per cent below the equivalent total for January to June 2010.

World demand was 19.9 kt higher than in the first half of 2010. Chinese apparent demand was 2571 kt which is almost 43 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In June 2011 slab zinc production was 1109.5 and consumption 1059.8 kt.

Nickel market records small surplus in January to June 2011

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to June 2011 with supply exceeding apparent demand by 4.1 kt. In the whole of 2010 the calculated surplus was 2 kt but this figure includes substantial imports recorded by China, some of which was destined for re-stocking purposes. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of May were 30 kt lower than at the end of last year. Refined production in January to December 2010 totalled 1513.1 kt and demand was 1510.9 kt.

Mine production during January to June was 750.4 kt, 52 kt above the comparable 2010 total. Japanese refinery output decreased by 7.3 kt compared with the first half of 2010 and apparent demand fell by 5.7 kt.

World apparent demand was 83 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In June 2011, nickel smelter production was 145.4 kt and consumption was 145.6 kt.

Tin market records surplus in January to June 2011

The tin market recorded a calculated surplus of 2.2 kt during the first half of 2011 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks rose again during June and ended the month 6 kt higher than at the end of December 2010. Almost all recorded stocks are now held in Asia.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was up by 10.1 kt, compared with January to June 2010. During the first half of this year, apparent demand in China and was 6.5 per cent higher than during the comparable months of 2010.

Global tin demand during January to June 2011 was 181.1 kt which was 0.6 per cent above the comparable period of 2010. US apparent consumption in January to June 2011 was estimated at 13 per cent below the figure for 2010 due to exceptionally low net imports of metal in April 2011. Japanese consumption was 15.2 kt which was 12 per cent below the comparable total for 2010.

In June 2011, refined production was 30.6 kt and demand was 30.5 kt


Dated 17th August 2011

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The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics August 2011 published today.