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Press Release September 2018
19/09/2018

January to July 2018 METALS BALANCES
Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to July 2018
The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to July was a deficit of 302 kt which follows a deficit of 1146 kt recorded for the whole of 2017. Second quarter trade data for China is not available for technical reasons. Demand for primary aluminium for January to July 2018 was 35.0 million tonnes 758 kt less than in the same seven months of 2017. Production in January to July 2018 fell by 147 kt compared with the same period in 2017. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks increased by 53 kt during July and closed at the end of the month 234 kt above the December 2017 level. LME stocks rose by 88 kt during July mostly due to increases in Malaysia and Singapore. Total stocks at the end of July 2018 were 2580 kt which compares with 2346 kt at the end of 2017. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 2108 kt at the end of July 2018 which were 165 kt above the December 2017 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.
Overall, global production fell in January to July 2018 by 0.4 per cent compared with the first seven months of 2017. Chinese output was estimated at 19396 kt and this currently accounts for almost 56 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.1 per cent lower than in January to July 2017. Chinese net exports were 103 kt in January to March and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2017 were 365 kt.
Production in the EU28 was 0.5 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output fell by 5.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 100 kt higher than the comparable 2017 total. Global demand fell by 2.1 per cent during January to July 2018 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
In July 2018, primary aluminium production was 5112.6 kt and consumption was 5122.9 kt.
Copper market records surplus in January to July 2018
The copper market recorded a surplus of 17.1 kt in January to July 2018 which follows a surplus of 132.6 kt in the whole of 2017. Reported stocks rose during January to July and closed 84 kt higher than the end of December 2017. These increases included net deliveries of 11 kt out LME warehouses in Asia. Asian LME stocks reached a peak for the year so far of 217.8 kt in March 2018. 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 2018 was 11.87 million tonnes which was 2.4 per cent higher than in the same period in 2017. Global refined production for January to July 2018 was 13.68 million tonnes up 1.4 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 36 kt) and in Chile (up 68 kt).
Global consumption for January to July 2018 was 13.66 million tonnes compared with 13.53 million tonnes for the same months of 2017. WBMS estimates that imports of refined copper into China were about 300 kt in July bringing the year to date figure to 2.2 million tonnes. Chinese estimated demand for January to July 2018 was 7063 kt which was 5.4 per cent above the previous year’s total and represented just under 52 per cent of the global total. EU28 production fell by 1.2 per cent and demand was 2080 kt, 3.9 per cent above the January to July 2017 total.
In July 2018, refined copper production was 1938.5 kt and consumption was 1968.7 kt.
Lead market records surplus in January to July 2018
The lead market recorded a surplus of 4.5 kt in January to July 2018 which follows a deficit of 393 kt recorded in the whole of 2017. Total stocks at the end of July were 39 kt lower than at the end of 2017. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.
World refined production during January to July 2018 from both primary and secondary sources was 6662.4 kt which was 2.1 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2017. Chinese demand was estimated at 116 kt below the comparable period in 2017 and represented just under 41 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 10 kt for January to July 2018 compared to the same months of 2017.
In July 2018, refined lead production was 950.4 kt and consumption was 890.1 kt.
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Zinc market records deficit in January to July 2018
The zinc market was in deficit by 35.1 kt during January to July 2018 which compares with a deficit of 448 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 26 kt during January to July with a net decrease in Shanghai of 21 kt over the period. LME stocks rose earlier in the year but declined by 11.1 kt during July closing at 238.1 kt which compares with 181 kt at the end of 2017. LME stocks represent 34 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in US warehouses. Second quarter trade data for China is not available for technical reasons.
Global refined production fell by 2.6 per cent and consumption was 5.1 per cent lower than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 308.8 kt, 8.5 per cent above the equivalent total for January to July 2017. The March figure was higher than usual due to a decline of 9.3 kt in producer stocks at the end of the Japanese fiscal year.
World demand was 412 kt lower than for January to July 2017. Chinese apparent demand was 3474 kt which is 45 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.
In July 2018 slab zinc production was 1020.9 kt and consumption 1068.5 kt.
Nickel market records deficit in January to July 2018
The Nickel market was in deficit during January to July 2018 with apparent demand exceeding production by 43.3 kt. In the whole of 2017 the calculated deficit was 76.3 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of July 2018 were 112 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to July 2018 totalled 1087.8 kt and demand was 1131.1 kt.
Mine production during January to July was 1228.3 kt, 141 kt above the comparable 2017 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 3 kt compared with 2017 and apparent demand was 18 kt higher than in the previous year.
World apparent demand was 93 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes
In July 2018, nickel smelter/refinery production was 161.8 kt and consumption was 170.9 kt.
Tin market records deficit in January to July 2018
The tin market recorded a deficit of 3.6 kt during January to July 2018 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks were 2.6 kt higher than at the end of 2017.
Global reported production of refined metal was down by 6 kt, compared with the January to July 2017 total. Production in Asia was 6.5 kt lower than the January to July 2017 total. Apparent demand in China was 10 per cent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.
Global tin demand during January to July was 213.9 kt which was 3.9 per cent below the comparable period of 2017. Japanese consumption was 16.9 kt which was 0.3 kt below the comparable total for January to July 2017.
In July 2018 refined production was 30.9 kt and consumption was 31.7kt
Dated 19th September 2018
- ENDS-
The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics September 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
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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.
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