LONDON Copper was the
only base metal to log a global deficit in the January-to-May
period of 2012, according to the Hertfordshire, England-based
World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
The red metal recorded a deficit
of 94,000 tonnes in the five-month period in contrast to a
421,000-tonne surplus in 2011.
The deficit was recorded despite
world production in January to May that rose by 2.4 percent
from the corresponding period in 2011.
Global refined production rose
3.4 percent on marked increases in Iran and India. Chilean
output fell by 80,000 tonnes.
Global consumption was 8.4
million tonnes, compared with 19.4 million tonnes in all of
Chinese apparent consumption
rose by 800,000 tonnes to 3.6 million tonnes.
In May 2012, both refined copper
production and consumption were about 1.6 million tonnes.
Five other base metals were in
surplus, with primary aluminum recording a surplus of 592,000
tonnes in the five-month period on top of a 1.7-million-tonne
surplus from 2011.
Aluminum production in the first
five months of 2011 rose by 660,000 tonnes from the same period
in 2011, with 7.8 million tonnes produced in China. Total
reported stocks fell by 160,000 tonnes during May and reached
7.05 million tonnes at the end of the month, down from 7.1
million tonnes at the end of 2011.
Lead and zinc markets were in a
surplus by 9,800 tonnes and 253,000 tonnes, respectively, in
January to May. In the whole of 2011, lead and zinc surpluses
were more than double the figures recorded in the period.
The nickel market was in surplus during the period as well,
with production exceeding apparent demand by 26,000 tonnes.