News and announcements

< go back

Press Release February 2018
21/02/2018

January to December 2017 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to December 2017

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to December 2017 was a deficit of 1414 kt which follows a deficit of 770 kt recorded for the whole of 2016. Demand for primary aluminium for January to December 2017 was 59.86 million tonnes 1179 kt more than 2016. Production in January to December 2017 rose by 535 kt compared with 2016. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose by 58 kt during December and at the end of the year were 2302 kt which equated to 14 days demand and compares with 2761 kt at the end of 2016. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1899 kt at the end of December 2017 which was 426 kt below the December 2016 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 2017 by 1 per cent compared with the annual total for 2016. Chinese output was estimated at 32273 kt and this currently accounts for about 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 0.9 per cent higher than 2016. Chinese net exports were 365 kt in January to December and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2016 were 255 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China rose from 3688 kt in January to December 2016 to 3847 kt in the the whole of 2017.

Production in the EU28 was 0.5 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output fell by 1.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 252 kt higher than the comparable 2016 total. Global demand rose by 2.0 per cent during January to December compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In December 2017, primary aluminium production was 4938.0 kt and consumption was 5053.1 kt.

Copper market records deficit in January to December 2017

The copper market recorded a deficit of 212.6 kt in January to December 2017 which follows a deficit of 102 kt in the whole of 2016. Reported stocks rose during December and closed 1.5 kt higher than at the end of December 2016. 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 2017 was 20.19 million tonnes which was 1.3 per cent lower than in the same period in 2016. Global refined production for January to December 2017 was 23.5 million tonnes up 0.9 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 453 kt) and a reduction in Chile (down 183 kt).

Global consumption for January to December 2017 was 23.73 million tonnes compared with 23.41 million tonnes for the same months of 2016. Chinese apparent consumption in January to December 2017 rose by 281 kt to 11923 kt compared to the same months of 2016 and represented just over 50 per cent of global demand. EU28 production rose by 3.0 per cent and demand was 3423 kt, 2.0 per cent above the January to December 2016 total.

In December 2017, refined copper production was 2094.0 kt and consumption was 2136.1 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to December 2017

The lead market was in deficit by 434 kt in January to December 2017 which follows a deficit of 154 kt recorded in the whole of 2016. Total stocks at the end of December were 52 kt lower than at the end of 2016. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to December 2017 from both primary and secondary sources was 11169 kt which was 0.4 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2016. Chinese demand was 86 kt above the comparable period in 2016 and represented just under 41 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has increased by 158 kt for January to December 2017 compared to the whole of 2016.

In December 2017, refined lead production was 928.4 kt and consumption was 937.5 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to December 2017

The zinc market was in deficit by 710 kt during January to December 2017 which compares with a deficit of 202 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 30 kt during December. LME stocks fell by 30.5 kt in November and ended the month 247 kt lower than at the end of 2016. LME stocks represent just over 27 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand increased by 4.1 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China fell by 0.9 per cent compared with 2016. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 101 kt in December which brought the year to date figure to 676 kt, 252 kt higher than in January to December 2016.

Global refined production rose by 0.2 per cent and consumption was 3.9 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 540.2 kt, 14.9 per cent above the equivalent total for January to December 2016.

World demand was 541 kt higher than for January to December 2016. Chinese apparent demand was 6964 kt which is just over 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In December 2017 slab zinc production was 1213.1 kt and consumption 1266.5 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to December 2017

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to December 2017 with apparent demand exceeding production by 102 kt. In the whole of 2016 the calculated deficit was 68.2 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of December 2017 were 5.5 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to December 2017 totalled 1822.2 kt and demand was 1924.2 kt.

Mine production during January to December was 1886.4 kt, 108 kt above the comparable 2016 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 1 kt compared with 2016 and apparent demand was 100 kt lower than in the previous year due to reduced imports of Nickel metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 21 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In December 2017, nickel smelter/refinery production was 159.3 kt and consumption was 191.1 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to December 2017

The tin market recorded a deficit of 17.7 kt during January to December 2017 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 3.2 kt during December and ended the period 2.2 kt higher than December 2016.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 19 kt, compared with January to December 2016 total. Production in Asia was 19.5 kt higher than the January to December 2016 total. Apparent demand in China was 4.2 per cent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to December 2017 was 381.7 kt which was 0.1 per cent below the comparable period of 2016. Japanese consumption was 29.1 kt which was 11.5 per cent higher than the comparable total for January to December 2016.

In December 2017, refined production was 29.6 kt and consumption was 30.9 kt


Dated 21st February 2018


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics February 2018 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




Disclaimer

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

Terms of Use

All data herein may be copied freely, duplicated and further distributed provided that WBMS is cited as the source.



About World Bureau of Metal Statistics:

The World Bureau of Metal Statistics is the data resource of first resort for anyone involved with the global metals industry. By outsourcing their research to WBMS, whether via regular publications or surveys tailored to their needs, organisations not only enjoy the benefit of reliable, first class data but also save significantly on cost and time. Through regular publications, available on subscription in print and electronic format, WBMS are able to keep companies and organisations throughout the world up to date on the production, consumption and trade in the major non-ferrous metals.

Launched in 1947, WBMS concentrated initially on the metals trade within the then British Empire. With the contraction of Empire, the organisation switched focus to the world stage and began collecting and collating data from a huge number of global sources. More than half a century later, its massive and regularly updated database forms the basis of printed and electronic publications aimed at the many and varied users of metal statistics. In particular, its monthly World Metal Statistics Bulletin represents the most comprehensive data available anywhere.

World Bureau of Metal Statistics
31 Star Street
Ware
Herts
SG12 7AA
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1920 461274
Fax: +44 (0) 1920 464258