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Press Release September 2019
18/09/2019

January to July 2019 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to July 2019

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to July 2019 was a deficit of 651 kt which follows a deficit of 855 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to July 2019 was 36.5 million tonnes, 655 kt more than in the same seven months of 2018. Production in January to July 2019 rose by 783 kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose slightly during July and closed at the end of the month 530 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks also rose during July, mostly in Malaysian warehouses, Total stocks at the end of July 2019 were 1899.5 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 1430 kt at the end of July 2019 which were 521 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 July 2019 by 2.2 per cent compared with the first seven months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 20415 kt and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 7.5 per cent higher than in January to July 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 250 kt during January to July 2019 which compares with 236 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to July 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 2899 kt which compares with 2542 kt for the first seven months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 2.2 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 6.7 per cent. EU28 demand was 195 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand rose by 1.8 per cent during January to July 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In July 2019, primary aluminium production was 5255.8 kt and consumption was 5077.6 kt.

Copper market small deficit in January to July 2019

The copper market recorded a deficit of 27 kt in January to July 2019 which follows a deficit of 145 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks rose during July to close 144 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. This increase includes net deliveries of 156 kt into the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 31 kt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 65 kt over the first seven months. 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 2019 was 11.62 million tonnes which was 0.5 per cent lower than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to July 2019 was 13.26 million tonnes down 3.2 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 96 kt) and in Chile (down 199 kt).

Global consumption for January to July 2019 was 13.29 million tonnes compared with 13.78 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to July 2019 was 6754 kt which was 3.9 per cent lower than the first seven months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 2.6 per cent and demand was 1885 kt, 6.0 per cent below the January to July 2018 total.

In July 2019, refined copper production was 1991.0 kt and consumption was 1994.0 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to July 2019

The lead market recorded a deficit of 177 kt in January to July 2019 which follows a deficit of 265 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of July were 27 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 July 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 7329 kt which was 11.7 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018 Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 3577 kt which was 782 kt higher than the comparable period in 2018 and represented about 48 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 11 kt for January to July 2019 compared to the same months of 2018.

In July 2019, refined lead production was 1052.7 kt and consumption was 1057.4 kt.


Zinc market records deficit in January to July 2019

The zinc market was in deficit by 6 kt during January to July 2019 which compares with a surplus of 64 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks increased by 11 kt during January to July with a net increase in Shanghai of 20 kt over the period. LME stocks fell again in July and closed 50 kt below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 14 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in US and Dutch warehouses.

Global refined production rose by 0.7 per cent and consumption was 4.2 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 295.8 kt, 4.3 per cent below the equivalent total for January to July 2018.

World demand was 319 kt higher than for January to July 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 3676 kt which is 47 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In July 2019, slab zinc production was 1155.8 kt and consumption 1153.1 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to July 2019

The nickel market was in deficit during January to July 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 78.7 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 95.7 kt.. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of July 2019 were 62.7 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to July 2019 totalled 1308.5 kt and demand was 1387.1 kt.

Mine production during January to July was 1419.1 kt, 93 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 67 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 120kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 56 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In July 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 214.1 kt and consumption was 230 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to July 2019

The tin market recorded a deficit of 4.8 kt during January to July 2019 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks were 6.5 kt higher than at the end of 2018 but this includes an unexplained increase in Indonesian stocks of 6.0 kt.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 3 kt, compared with the January to July 2018 total. Production in Asia was 2.5 kt higher than the January to July 2018 total. Apparent demand in China was 8 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to July 2019 was 219.7 kt which was 1.4 per cent above the comparable period of 2018. Japanese consumption was 16.5 kt which was 3.1 per cent below the comparable total for January to July 2018.

In July 2019, refined production was 33.0 kt and consumption was 35.5 kt


Dated 18th September 2019


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics September 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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