NEW YORK Increased demand for lead in the United States and China helped maintain an ongoing global deficit of the metal in June, while production and usage declines in the global zinc market led to the first surplus of the material in three months, according to a preliminary report by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
The lead market had a 7,200-tonne deficit in June, with metal production sliding 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 914,500 tonnes while lead consumption fell 2.5 percent to 921,700 tonnes.
The global lead market recorded a 40,000-tonne deficit for the first half of the year as demand increased 10.8 percent in the United States and 9.3 percent in China.
The global zinc market registered a 5,800-tonne surplus in June after three months of deficit. Zinc metal production rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier to nearly 1.11 million tonnes, while zinc usage was virtually flat at just over 1.1 million tonnes.
The global zinc market recorded a 44,000-tonne surplus for the first half of 2013 as a result of a 3.8-percent jump in global refined zinc metal output led by production increases in Canada, China, India, South Korea and Peru. Global usage in the first half increased 5.8 percent after a surge in demand in China (8.9 percent) and a smaller increase in the United States (4.2 percent).
Inventory levels for lead and zinc at the end of the first half were down 30,000 tonnes and 123,000 tonnes, respectively, compared with a year earlier.