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WBMS Press Release June 2019
19/06/2019

January to April 2019 METALS BALANCES
Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to April 2019
The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to April 2019 was a deficit of 143 kt which follows a deficit of 966 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to April 2019 was 20.33 million tonnes, 164 kt more than in the same four months of 2018. Production in January to April 2019 rose by 249 kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell during April and closed at the end of the month 190 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks rose during April with increases in Asia more than compensating for falls in Europe and USA. Total stocks at the end of April 2019 were 2239 kt which compares with 2429 kt at the end of 2018. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1779 kt at the end of April 2019 which were 172 kt lower than in December 2018 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 April 2019 by 1.3 per cent compared with the first four months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 11484 kt and this currently accounts for 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 7.9 per cent higher than in January to April 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 168 kt during January to April 2019 which compares with 138 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to April 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 1606 kt which compares with 1194 kt for the first four months of 2018.
Production in the EU28 was 2.3 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 6.5 per cent. EU28 demand was 35 kt higher than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand rose by 0.8 per cent during January to April 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
In April 2019, primary aluminium production was 5126.0 kt and consumption was 5257.3 kt.
Copper market records surplus in January to April 2019
The copper market recorded a surplus of 43 kt in January to April 2019 which follows a deficit of 19 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks rose each month in between January and April and closed at the end of April 137 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. These increases included net deliveries of 94 kt into the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 101 kt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 69 kt over the first four months of the year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile.
World mine production in January to April 2019 was 6.63 million tonnes which was 1.0 per cent lower than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to April 2019 was 7.41 million tonnes down 4.9 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 99 kt) and in Chile (down 106 kt).
Global consumption for January to April 2019 was 7.36 million tonnes compared with 7.69 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to April 2019 was 3694 kt which was 3.5 per cent lower than the first four months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 0.2 per cent and demand was 1103 kt, 3.1 per cent below the January to April 2018 total.
In April 2019, refined copper production was 1908.6 kt and consumption was 2008.1 kt.
Lead market records deficit in January to April 2019
The lead market recorded a deficit of 152 kt in January to April 2019 which follows a deficit of 278 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of April were 19 kt lower than at the end of 2018. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.
World refined production during January to April 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 4168 kt which was 9.3 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018 Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 1991 kt which was 381 kt higher than the comparable period in 2018 and represented about 46 per cent of the global total.
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For the USA, apparent demand has increased by 24 kt for January to April 2019 compared to the same months of
2018.
In April 2019, refined lead production was 1071.6 kt and consumption was 1127.2 kt.
Zinc market records tiny surplus in January to April 2019
The zinc market was in surplus by 4.6 kt during January to April 2019 which compares with a surplus of 67 kt recorded
in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks increased by 18 kt during January to April with a net increase in
Shanghai of 59 kt over the period. LME stocks fell in each month of the first quarter but rose in April to close 44 kt
below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 15 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held
in US and Dutch warehouses.
Global refined production fell by 4.0 per cent and consumption was fractionally lower than the levels recorded one
year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 177.7 kt, 2.7 per cent below the equivalent total for January to April
2018.
World demand was 1 kt lower than for January to April 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 1969 kt which is 46 per
cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.
In April 2019, slab zinc production was 1104.6 kt and consumption 1151.5 kt.
Nickel market records deficit in January to April 2019
The nickel market was in deficit during January to April 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 38.7
kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 90 kt.. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of April 2019
were 33.3 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to April 2019 totalled 697.6 kt
and demand was 736.2 kt.
Mine production during January to April was 768.8 kt, 75 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese
smelter/refinery output increased by 25 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 36 kt higher than in the
previous year.
World apparent demand was 9 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation
for unreported stock changes
In April 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 189.6 kt and consumption was 207.8kt.
Tin market records deficit in January to April 2019
The tin market recorded a deficit of 4.7 kt during January to April 2019 and there were no DLA deliveries during the
period. Total reported stocks were 3.8 kt higher than at the end of 2018 but this includes an unexplained increase in
Indonesian stocks of 6.0kt.
Global reported production of refined metal was down by 2.2 kt, compared with the January to April 2018 total.
Production in Asia was 2.2 kt lower than the January to April 2018 total. Apparent demand in China was 1.1 per cent
lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.
Global tin demand during January to April 2019 was 121.2 kt which was 0.6 per cent below the comparable period
of 2018. Japanese consumption was 9.1 kt which was 9.3 per cent above the comparable total for January to April
2018.
In April 2019, refined production was 29.0 kt and consumption was 30.1 kt
Dated 19th June 2019
- ENDSThe
above data are taken from World Metal Statistics June 2019 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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on conclusions drawn from the data.
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