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Press Release February 2018
21/02/2018

January to December 2016 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to December 2016

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to December 2016 was a deficit of 985 kt which follows a deficit of 659 kt recorded for the whole of 2015. Demand for primary aluminium for January to December 2016 was 58.74 million tonnes 748 kt more than the whole of 2015. Production in January to December 2016 rose by 421 kt compared with 2015. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose by 115 kt during December and at the end of the month were 2761 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 2324.2 kt at the end of December 2016 which was 908 kt below the December 2015 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 December 2016 by 0.7 per cent compared with the whole of 2015. Chinese output was estimated at 31870 kt and this currently accounts for 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.8 per cent higher than 2015. Chinese net exports were 255.3 kt in January to December and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2015 were 342 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China fell from 3777 in January to December 2015 to 3688 in the whole of 2016.

Production in the EU28 rose by 0.4 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 9.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 469 kt higher than the comparable 2015 total. Global demand increased by 1.3 per cent during January to December compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In December 2016, primary aluminium production was 5096.8 kt and consumption was 5251.9 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to December 2016

The copper market recorded a surplus of 58 kt in January to December 2016 which follows a surplus of 141 kt in the whole of 2015. Reported stocks rose during December and closed 59.1 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 December 2016 was 20.66 million tonnes which was 6.9 per cent higher than in the same period in 2015. Global refined production rose to 23.46 million tonnes up 2.1 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 476 kt) and Spain (up 14 kt).

Global consumption for January to December 2016 was 23.40 million tonnes compared with 22.83 million tonnes for the same months of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption in January to December 2016 rose by 289 kt to 11642 kt compared to the same months of 2015 and represented just under 50 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 1.5 per cent and demand was 3443 kt, 3.2 per cent above the January to December 2015 total.

In December 2016, refined copper production was 1994.5 kt and consumption was 1970.8 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to December 2016

The lead market was in deficit by 167 kt in January to December 2016 which follows a deficit of 14 kt recorded in the whole of 2015. Total stocks at the end of December were 12.9 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 December 2016 from both primary and secondary sources was 11123.1 kt which was 9.1 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2015. Global demand was 1078 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 4659.5 kt of lead in January to December 2016 which was 856 kt above the comparable period in 2015 and represented over 41 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 26 kt for January to December 2016 compared to the whole of 2015.

In December 2016, refined lead production was 1157.7 kt and consumption was 1205.7 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to December 2016

The zinc market was in deficit by 177 kt during January to December 2016 which compares with a surplus of 100 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 145 kt during the year. LME stocks fell by 14.2 kt in December and ended the month 35 kt lower than at the end of 2015. LME stocks represent 45 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 3.2 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 1.9 per cent compared with 2015. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 23 kt in December and 25 kt in November which brought the year to date figure to 424 kt, 119 kt lower than in January to December 2015.

Global refined production fell by 2.2 per cent and consumption was fractionally below the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 487 kt, 1.6 % above the equivalent total for January to December 2015.

World demand was 21 kt lower than for January to December 2015. Chinese apparent demand was 6689 kt which is over 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In December 2016 slab zinc production was 1218.4 kt and consumption 1174.1 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to December 2016

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to December 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production by 51.5 kt. In the whole of 2015 the calculated surplus was 73.5 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of December were 69.3 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to December totalled 1827.6 kt and demand was 1879.1 kt.

Mine production during January to December was 1852.7 kt, 271 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 25 kt compared with 2015 and apparent demand was 45 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 129 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In December 2016, nickel smelter/refinery production was 161.6 kt and consumption was 143.4 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to December 2016

The tin market recorded a deficit of 36 kt during January to December 2016 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks rose by 1.2 kt during December and ended the period 3.6 kt lower than December 2015.

Global reported production of refined metal was virtually unchanged from January to December 2015 total. Production in Asia was 2.2 kt lower than January to December 2015. Apparent demand in China was 9 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to December 2016 was 388.4 kt which was 5.4 per cent above the comparable period of 2015. Japanese consumption was 26.1 kt which was 2.4 % lower than the comparable total for 2015.

In December 2016, refined production was 30.6 kt and demand was 33.6 kt


Dated 15th February 2017
- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics February 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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