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WBMS Press Release 2017
16/08/2017

January to June 2017 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to June 2017

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to June 2017 was a deficit of 1074 kt which follows a deficit of 1097 kt recorded for the whole of 2016. Demand for primary aluminium for January to June 2017 was 30.80 million tonnes 2008 kt more than the first half of 2016. Production in January to June 2017 rose by 1692 kt compared with 2016. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 314 kt during June and at the end of the month were 2033 kt which equated to 13 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 1879 kt at the end of June 2017 which was 445 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 June 2017 by 6 per cent compared with the first six months of 2016. Chinese output was estimated at 16839 kt and this currently accounts for over 56 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 10.2 per cent higher than 2016. Chinese net exports were 173 kt in January to June and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2016 were 255 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China rose from 1841 kt in January to June 2016 to 1955 kt in the first half of 2017.

Production in the EU28 fell by 0.5 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 3.3 per cent. EU28 demand was 143 kt higher than the comparable 2016 total. Global demand rose by 7 per cent during January to June compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In June 2017, primary aluminium production was 5115.3 kt and consumption was 5322.1 kt.

Copper market records deficit in January to June 2017

The copper market recorded a deficit of 41 kt in January to June 2017 which follows a deficit of 68 kt in the whole of 2016. Reported stocks fell during June and closed 71 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 June 2017 was 10.1 million tonnes which was 0.1 per cent lower than in the same period in 2016. Global refined production for January to June 2017 was 11.67 million tonnes up 1.6 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 329 kt) and a reduction in Chile (down 168 kt).

Global consumption for January to June 2017 was 11.71 million tonnes compared with 11.88 million tonnes for the same months of 2016. Chinese apparent consumption in January to June 2017 fell by 271 kt to 5659 kt compared to the same months of 2016 and represented just over 48 per cent of global demand. EU28 production rose by 8 per cent and demand was 1715 kt, 3.1 per cent below the January to June 2016 total.

In June 2017, refined copper production was 2016.5 kt and consumption was 2013.4 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to June 2017

The lead market was in deficit by 195 kt in January to June 2017 which follows a deficit of 172 kt recorded in the whole of 2016. Total stocks at the end of June were 4 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 June 2017 from both primary and secondary sources was 5877 kt which was 11.5 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2016. Global demand was 706 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 2579 kt of lead in January to June 2017 which was 523 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 193 kt for January to June 2017 compared to the first half of 2016.

In June 2017, refined lead production was 990.7 kt and consumption was 1008.9 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to June 2017

The zinc market was in deficit by 370 kt during January to June 2017 which compares with a deficit of 223 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 56 kt during June. LME stocks fell by 41 kt in June and ended the month 139 kt lower than at the end of 2016. LME stocks represent 37 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand fell by 0.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China fell by 1.2 per cent compared with 2016. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 42 kt in June which brought the year to date figure to 180 kt, 112 kt lower than in January to June 2016.

Global refined production rose by 1.6 per cent and consumption was 4 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 266 kt, 15.2 per cent above the equivalent total for January to June 2016.

World demand was 270 kt higher than for January to June 2016. Chinese apparent demand was 3240 kt which is just less than 46 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In June 2017 slab zinc production was 1149.4 kt and consumption 1205.2 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to June 2017

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to June 2017 with apparent demand exceeding production by 60.3 kt. In the whole of 2016 the calculated deficit was 71 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of June 2017 were 0.6 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to June 2017 totalled 813.2 kt and demand was 873.5 kt.

Mine production during January to June was 899 kt, 38 kt below the comparable 2016 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 28 kt compared with 2016 and apparent demand was 142 kt lower than in the previous year due to reduced imports of Nickel metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 84 kt lower than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In June 2017, nickel smelter/refinery production was 155.8 kt and consumption was 153.4 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to June 2017

The tin market recorded a deficit of 7.6 kt during January to June 2017 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks rose by 1.8 kt during June and ended the period 1.8 kt higher than December 2016.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 13 kt, compared with January to June 2016 total. Production in Asia was 14.8 kt higher than the January to June 2016 total. Apparent demand in China was 2.8 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to June 2017 was 193.4 kt which was 1.6 per cent above the comparable period of 2016. Japanese consumption was 15.2 kt which was 18 per cent higher than the comparable total for 2016.

In June 2017, refined production was 31.7 kt and consumption was 34.5 kt


Dated 16th August


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics August 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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