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WMS December 2016 Press Release
14/12/2016

January to October 2016 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to October 2016

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to October 2016 was a deficit of 937 kt which follows a deficit of 551 kt recorded for the whole of 2015. Demand for primary aluminium for January to October 2016 was 48.49 million tonnes 172 kt less than the first ten months of 2015. Production in January to October 2016 fell by 523 kt compared with 2015. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 29 kt during October and at the end of the month were 2671 kt which equated to 17 daysí 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 2238.1 kt at the end of October 2016 which was 1132 kt below the December 2015 total. No allowance is made the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production fell in January to October 2016 by 1.1 per cent compared with the first ten months of 2015. Chinese output was estimated at 26182 kt and this currently accounts for 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.1 per cent lower than 2015. Chinese net exports were 296 kt in January to October and net exports for the whole of 2015 were 342 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China rose from 3071 in January to October 2015 to 3082 in the first ten months of 2016.

Production in the EU28 fell by 0.6 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 9.7 per cent. EU28 demand was 246 kt higher than the comparable 2015 total. Global demand fell by 0.4 per cent during January to October compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In October 2016, primary aluminium production was 4897.1 kt and consumption was 4954.1 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to October 2016

The copper market recorded a surplus of 224 kt in January to October 2016 which follows a surplus of 264 kt in the whole of 2015. Reported stocks fell during October and closed 10.3 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 October 2016 was 17.02 million tonnes which was 7.2 per cent higher than in the same period in 2015. Global refined production rose to 19.67 million tonnes up 3.9 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 493 kt) and Spain (up 14 kt).

Global consumption for January to October 2016 was 19.45 million tonnes compared with 18.70 million tonnes for the same months of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption in January to October 2016 rose by 452 kt to 9558 kt compared to the same months of 2015 and represented just over 49 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 3.3 per cent and demand was 2814 kt, 10.7 per cent above the January to October 2015 total.

In October 2016, refined copper production was 1983.2 kt and consumption was 1910.8 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to October 2016

The lead market was in deficit by 64 kt in January to October 2016 which follows a deficit of 14 kt recorded in the whole of 2015. Total stocks at the end of October were 15 kt higher than at the end of 2015. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to October 2016 from both primary and secondary sources was 8953.1 kt which was 5.6 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2015. Global demand was 510 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 3553.4 kt of lead in January to October 2016 which was 377 kt above the comparable period in 2015 and represented over 39 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 28.5 kt for January to October 2016 compared to the first ten months of 2015.

In October 2016, refined lead production was 945.4 kt and consumption was 954.2 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to October 2016

The zinc market was in deficit by 152 kt during January to October 2016 which compares with a surplus of 101 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 53 kt during the ten month period. LME stocks rose by 12.1 kt in October and ended the month 11.9 kt lower than at the end of 2015. LME stocks represent 44 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 3.9 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 0.7 per cent compared with 2015. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 17 kt in September but rose slightly in October to 25 kt which brought the year to date figure to 376 kt, 3 kt lower than in January to October 2015.

Global refined production fell by 3 per cent and consumption decreased by 0.2 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 401 kt, fractionally below the equivalent total for January to October 2015.

World demand was 22 kt lower than for January to October 2015. Chinese apparent demand was 5539 kt which is just over 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In October 2016 slab zinc production was 1207.8 kt and consumption 1158.3 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to October 2016

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to October 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production by 57.1 kt. In the whole of 2015 the calculated surplus was 73.5 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of October were 77.8 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to October totalled 1508.2 kt and demand was 1565.3 kt.

Mine production during January to October was 1696.4 kt, 83.4 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. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 35.4 kt compared with 2015 and apparent demand was 55.0 kt higher than in the previous year due to increased imports of Nickel Pig Iron from Indonesia and higher imports of metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 104.9 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In October 2016, nickel smelter/refinery production was 158.8 kt and consumption was 143.5 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to October 2016

The tin market recorded a deficit of 28.8 kt during January to October 2016 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 2.4 kt during October and ended the period 6.1 kt lower than December 2015.

Global reported production of refined metal was down by 0.8 kt, compared with January to October 2015. Production in Asia decreased from 233.7 kt in January to October 2015 to 229.5 kt in the comparable period in 2016. Apparent demand in China was 7.5 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to October 2016 was 319.0 kt which was 3.9 per cent above the comparable period of 2015. Japanese consumption was 22.2 kt which was 0.2 kt below the comparable total for 2015.

In October 2016, refined production was 29.7 kt and demand was 32.3 kt


Dated 14th December 2016
- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics October 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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