Lead may be buoyed by e-bikes in China

Dec 22, 2008 | 11:58 AM | Anne Riley

Three-month lead fell to a 40-month low Monday on the London Metal Exchange due to weakening global demand, but insiders aren't worried.

Even as the future of lead's primary market—vehicle batteries—remains uncertain, a growing demand for electric bicycles (e-bikes) throughout China should support the lead market through turbulent economic times, market participants said.

Paul White of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said that demand for e-bikes has been on the rise in China, and with each bike sporting a lead-acid battery the lead industry has reaped the benefits.

"You've had a huge rise in the Chinese e-bike population, and these bikes all use lead-acid batteries," he said. "The batteries used are smaller than a car battery, but because the e-bike battery is the sole power source for the bike it obviously discharges faster than a car battery." E-bike batteries suffer more wear and tear and need to be replaced every eight to 10 months, unlike their automotive counterparts, which generally last three to four years.....

Latest Pricing Trends


Are you stocking more inventory today than 18 months ago?


View previous results