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PRESS RELEASE April 2017
19/04/2017

January to February 2017 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to February 2017

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to February 2017 was a deficit of 101 kt which follows a deficit of 1118 kt recorded for the whole of 2016. Demand for primary aluminium for January to February 2017 was 9.85 million tonnes 1018 kt more than the first two months of 2016. Production in January to February 2017 rose by 971 kt compared with 2016. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 293 kt during February and at the end of the month were 2556 kt which equated to 16 daysí demand and compares with 2761 kt at the end of 2016. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 2402 kt at the end of February 2017 which was 78 kt below the December 2016 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production rose in January to February 2017 by 11.1 per cent compared with the first two months of 2016. Chinese output was estimated at 5485 kt and this currently accounts for over 56 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 22 per cent higher than 2016. Chinese net exports were 28 kt in January to February and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2016 were 255 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China fell from 537 kt in January to February 2016 to 527 kt in the first two months of 2017.

Production in the EU28 rose by 2.3 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 6.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 72 kt lower than the comparable 2016 total. Global demand rose by 11.5 per cent during January to February compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In February 2017, primary aluminium production was 4839.1 kt and consumption was 4904.8 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to February 2017

The copper market recorded a surplus of 335 kt in January to February 2017 which follows a surplus of 215 kt in the whole of 2016. Reported stocks rose during February and closed 72 kt higher than at the end of December 2016. 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 2017 was 3.36 million tonnes which was 6.4 per cent higher than in the same period in 2016. Global refined production rose to 3.85 million tonnes up 1.9 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 88 kt) and India (up 9 kt).

Global consumption for January to February 2017 was 3.52 million tonnes compared with 3.70 million tonnes for the same months of 2016. Chinese apparent consumption in January to February 2017 fell by 143 kt to 1680 kt compared to the same months of 2016 and represented just under 48 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 0.3 per cent and demand was 498.3 kt, 11.7 per cent below the January to February 2016 total.

In February 2017, refined copper production was 1894.3 kt and consumption was 1708.1 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to February 2017

The lead market was in deficit by 81 kt in January to February 2017 which follows a deficit of 154 kt recorded in the whole of 2016. Total stocks at the end of February were 27.9 kt higher than at the end of 2016. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to February 2017 from both primary and secondary sources was 1841 kt which was 7.2 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2016. Global demand was 185 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 838.5 kt of lead in January to February 2017 which was 214 kt above the comparable period in 2016 and represented almost 44 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 14 kt for January to February 2017 compared to the first two months of 2016.

In February 2017, refined lead production was 921.8 kt and consumption was 951.9 kt.




Zinc market records surplus in January to February 2017

The zinc market was in surplus by 62 kt during January to February 2017 which compares with a deficit of 258kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 21 kt during February. LME stocks fell by 12 kt in February and ended the month 44 kt lower than at the end of 2016. LME stocks represent 37 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 2.7 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 7.1 per cent compared with 2016. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 15 kt in February which brought the year to date figure to 32 kt, 72 kt lower than in January to February 2016.

Global refined production rose by 6.0 per cent and consumption was 7 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 87 kt, 16 % above the equivalent total for January to February 2016.

World demand was 143 kt higher than for January to February 2016. Chinese apparent demand was 967 kt which is 44 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In February 2017 slab zinc production was 1134.7 kt and consumption 1083.9 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to February 2017

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to February 2017 with apparent demand exceeding production by 20 kt. In the whole of 2016 the calculated deficit was 62 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of February 2017 were 5.7 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to February 2017 totalled 272.1 kt and demand was 292.2 kt.

Mine production during January to February was 311 kt, 4 kt above the comparable 2016 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 6.6 kt compared with 2016 and apparent demand was 25 kt lower than in the previous year due to reduced imports of Nickel metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 18.6 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In February 2017, nickel smelter/refinery production was 134.7 kt and consumption was 147.1 kt.


Tin market records tiny deficit in January to February 2017

The tin market recorded a deficit of 0.2 kt during January to February 2017 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 1.2 kt during February and ended the period 2 kt higher than December 2016.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 5 kt, compared with January to February 2016 total. Production in Asia was 6.2 kt higher than the January to February 2016 total. Apparent demand in China was 5.2 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to February 2017 was 60.3 kt which was 2.6 per cent below the comparable period of 2016. Japanese consumption was 5.3 kt which was the same 24 per cent higher than the comparable total for 2016.

In February 2017, refined production was 30.6 kt and demand was 31.1 kt


Dated 19th April 2017


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics April 2017 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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