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Press Release June 2017
21/06/2017

January to April 2017 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to April 2017

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to April 2017 was a deficit of 683 kt which follows a deficit of 1096 kt recorded for the whole of 2016. Demand for primary aluminium for January to April 2017 was 20.35 million tonnes 1580 kt more than the first four months of 2016. Production in January to April 2017 rose by 1295 kt compared with 2016. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 200 kt during April and at the end of the month were 2471 kt which equated to 15 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 2059 kt at the end of April 2017 which was 266 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 April 2017 by 7.1 per cent compared with the first four months of 2016. Chinese output was estimated at 10967 kt and this currently accounts for just under 56 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 11 per cent higher than 2016. Chinese net exports were 93 kt in January to April and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2016 were 255 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China rose from 1190 kt in January to April 2016 to 1220 kt in the first four months of 2017.

Production in the EU28 rose by 1.9 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 4.7 per cent. EU28 demand was 150 kt higher than the comparable 2016 total. Global demand rose by 8.4 per cent during January to April compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In April 2017, primary aluminium production was 4941.8 kt and consumption was 5118.3 kt.

Copper market records tiny deficit in January to April 2017

The copper market recorded a deficit of 5 kt in January to April 2017 which follows a deficit of 69 kt in the whole of 2016. Reported stocks fell during April and closed 82 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 April 2017 was 6.55 million tonnes which was 0.6 per cent lower than in the same period in 2016. Global refined production for January to April 2017 was 7.67 million tonnes down 0.6 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 144 kt) and a reduction in Chile (down 144 kt).

Global consumption for January to April 2017 was 7.67 million tonnes compared with 7.87 million tonnes for the same months of 2016. Chinese apparent consumption in January to April 2017 fell by 303 kt to 3659 kt compared to the same months of 2016 and represented just under 48 per cent of global demand. EU28 production rose by 3.0 per cent and demand was 1131.6 kt, 4.4 per cent below the January to April 2016 total.

In April 2017, refined copper production was 1919.9 kt and consumption was 2004.1 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to April 2017

The lead market was in deficit by 96 kt in January to April 2017 which follows a deficit of 172 kt recorded in the whole of 2016. Total stocks at the end of April were 2 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 April 2017 from both primary and secondary sources was 3954 kt which was 13.3 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2016. Global demand was 514 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 1715 kt of lead in January to April 2017 which was 390 kt above the comparable period in 2016 and represented over 42 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has increased by 133 kt for January to April 2017 compared to the first four months of 2016.

In April 2017, refined lead production was 980.9 kt and consumption was 988.9 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to April 2017

The zinc market was in deficit by 106 kt during January to April 2017 which compares with a deficit of 236 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 93 kt during April. LME stocks fell by 23 kt in April and ended the month 80 kt lower than at the end of 2016. LME stocks represent 38.5 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 2 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 1.3 per cent compared with 2016. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 48 kt in April which brought the year to date figure to 106 kt, 115 kt lower than in January to April 2016.

Global refined production rose by 3.1 per cent and consumption was 4.7 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 184 kt, 19 % above the equivalent total for January to April 2016.

World demand was 206 kt higher than for January to April 2016. Chinese apparent demand was 2095 kt which is 45.7 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In April 2017 slab zinc production was 1111.5 kt and consumption 1237.0 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to April 2017

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to April 2017 with apparent demand exceeding production by 35.3 kt. In the whole of 2016 the calculated deficit was 62 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of April 2017 were 7.1 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to April 2017 totalled 531.6 kt and demand was 566.8 kt.

Mine production during January to April was 574 kt, 60 kt below the comparable 2016 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 26 kt compared with 2016 and apparent demand was 107 kt lower than in the previous year due to reduced imports of Nickel metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 37 kt lower than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In April 2017, nickel smelter/refinery production was 138.1 kt and consumption was 145.9 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to April 2017

The tin market recorded a deficit of 3.0 kt during January to April 2017 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 0.5 kt during April and ended the period 0.9 kt lower than December 2016.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 9.21 kt, compared with January to April 2016 total. Production in Asia was 10.5 kt higher than the January to April 2016 total. Apparent demand in China was 4.1 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to April 2017 was 126.2 kt which was 0.6 per cent below the comparable period of 2016. Japanese consumption was 10.1 kt which was 18 per cent higher than the comparable total for 2016.

In April 2017, refined production was 30.8 kt and demand was 32.3 kt


Dated 21st June 2017


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics June 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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