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WBMS PRESS RELEASE Jan - July 2012 Metal Balances
19/09/2012

January to July 2012 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market remains in surplus January to July 2012

The calculated market surplus for primary aluminium for January to July 2012 was 156 kt which follows a surplus of 1604 kt recorded for the whole of 2011. Demand for primary aluminium for last year was 42.75 million tonnes, 2303 kt more than the equivalent total 2010. Production in January to July 2012 rose by 795 kt from the same period in 2011 and following on from a 3.10 million tonne increase over the whole of 2011. Total reported stocks rose by 112 kt during July and at the end of the month were 6953 kt which equated to just over 59 days demand and compares with 6999 kt at the end of 2011. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 5204 kt at the end of July 2012 which was 17 kt above the December 2011 total. Global producer stocks at the end of July 2012 were 1358 kt which was 46 kt below the previous year’s close. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes especially those held in China.

Overall, global production rose in January to July 2012 by 3.11 per cent compared with the same months of 2011. Chinese output was estimated at 11284.7 kt and this currently accounts for almost 43 per cent of the world production total. China was a net importer of unwrought aluminium during January to July with imports exceeding exports by 250 kt. During the whole of the 2011 calendar year Chinese net exports totalled 433 kt.

Production in the EU27 fell by 12.5 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 1.6 per cent. EU27 demand was 12.8 per cent below the comparable period for 2011 total. Global demand rose by 4.7 per cent during the first seven months of the year compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In July 2012, primary aluminium production was 3947.5 kt and consumption was 3992.7 kt.

Copper market records deficit in January to July 2012

The copper market recorded a deficit of 279 kt in January to July 2012 which follows a surplus of 253 kt in the whole of 2011. Reported stocks rose by 4.7 kt during July and ended the month 118 kt lower than at the end of 2011. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile

World mine production in January to July was 9.60 million tonnes which was 3.6 per cent higher than in the same period in 2011. Global refined production rose to 11.66 million tonnes up 2.4 per cent with significant increases recorded for Spain (67.7 kt) and India (27.4 kt). Chilean output fell by 87.1 kt.

Global consumption for January to July 2012 was 11937.3 kt and the comparable figure for the 2011 calendar year was 19617 kt. Chinese apparent consumption in January to July 2012 rose by 974 kt to 5092 kt which represented just under 43 per cent of global demand. EU27 demand was, at 1866 kt, 7.8 per cent below the January to July 2011 total.

In July 2012, refined copper production was 1637.0 kt and consumption was 1658.1 kt.

Lead market records surplus in January to July 2012

The lead market was in surplus by 6.6 kt in January to July 2012 which follows a surplus of 3.9 kt kt recorded in the whole of 2011. Total stocks at the end of July were 25.6 kt , lower than at the end of 2011. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

Lead mine production was 3160.5 kt which was 25 per cent above the total recorded for the first seven months of 2011. The jump in production of concentrates is largely due to abnormally low Chinese output in January and February 2011. Refined production from both primary and secondary sources was 5909 kt. Global production fell fractionally and demand was 19 kt lower. Apparent consumption in China totalled 2623 kt of lead in January to July 2012 which was 44 kt above the comparable period in 2011 and represented 44.4 per cent of the global total.

In July 2012, refined lead production was 893.7 kt and consumption was 895.2 kt.



Zinc market records surplus in January to July 2012

The zinc market was in surplus by 304 kt during January to July 2012 which compares with a surplus of 566 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 130 kt in the first seven months of the year with almost all of the increase recorded at LME warehouses. LME stocks represented 75 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand was flat compared with the first seven months of 2011. Production of locally refined metal in China fell by 8 per cent compared with the previous year. According to Chinese customs data, imports remain at historically high levels. Much of the Chinese imports originate from other Asian countries. Exports reported by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan confirm the Chinese imports.

Global refined production fell by 3.3 per cent and consumption fell by 2.9 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 267.9 kt, 7.8 per cent below the equivalent total for January to July 2011.

World demand was 204 kt lower than in the first seven months of 2011. Chinese apparent demand was 3016 kt which is just over 43 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In July 2012 slab zinc production was 998.3 and consumption 972.4 kt.

Nickel market records surplus in January to July 2012

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to July 2012 with production exceeding apparent demand by 50 kt. In the whole of 2011 the calculated deficit was 3.2 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of July were 10.8 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to July totalled 1040.3 kt and demand was 990.2 kt.

Mine production during January to July was 1019.2 kt, 58 kt above the comparable 2011 total. Japanese refinery output increased by 2.1 kt compared with 2011 but apparent demand was 13.3 kt lower than in 2011.

World apparent demand was 87.4 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In July 2012, nickel smelter production was 157.7 kt and consumption was 146.9 kt.


Tin market records small deficit in January to July 2012

The tin market recorded a deficit of 1.4 kt during January to July 2012 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks which had been rising month on month between January and April, fell back slightly during May to July and ended the month at 31.8 kt which is still 1.9 kt higher than in December 2011. Almost all recorded stocks are now held in Asia.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was down by 9 kt, compared with January to July 2011. Apparent demand in China was 1.9 per cent higher than during the first seven months of 2011.

Global tin demand during January to July 2012 was 204.8 kt which was 5.1 per cent below the comparable period of 2011. Japanese consumption was 16.3 kt which was 5.2 per cent below the comparable total for 2011.

In July 2012, refined production was 29.9 kt and demand was 27.8 kt