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Press Release October 2019
16/10/2019

January to August 2019 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to August 2019

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to August 2019 was a deficit of 262 kt which follows a deficit of 631 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to August 2019 was 41.57 million tonnes, 645 kt less than in the same eight months of 2018. Production in January to August 2019 fell by 324 kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell slightly during August and closed at the end of the month 654 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks fell during August, mostly in Malaysian warehouses, Total stocks at the end of August 2019 were 1775 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 1288.2 kt at the end of August 2019 which were 663 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 fell in January to August 2019 by 0.8 per cent compared with the first eight months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 23466 kt and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.2 per cent higher than in January to August 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 271 kt during January to August 2019 which compares with 266 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to August 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 3357 kt which compares with 2854 kt for the first eight months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 0.5 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 5.9 per cent. EU28 demand was 188 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand fell by 1.5 per cent during January to August 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In August 2019, primary aluminium production was 5317.2 kt and consumption was 5324.6 kt.

Copper market deficit in January to August 2019

The copper market recorded a deficit of 123 kt in January to August 2019 which follows a deficit of 266 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks rose during August to close 174 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. This increase includes net deliveries of 204 kt into the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 25 kt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 63 kt over the first eight 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 August 2019 was 13.41 million tonnes which was 0.5 per cent higher than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to August 2019 was 15.47 million tonnes down 2 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 88 kt) and in Chile (down 206 kt).

Global consumption for January to August 2019 was 15.47 million tonnes compared with 15.79 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to August 2019 was 7836 kt which was 3.3 per cent lower than the first eight months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 3.6 per cent and demand was 2154 kt, 4.4 per cent below the January to August 2018 total.

In August 2019, refined copper production was 2004.3 kt and consumption was 2011.2 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to August 2019

The lead market recorded a deficit of 241 kt in January to August 2019 which follows a deficit of 236 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of August were 9 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 August 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 8297 kt which was 10.2 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018 Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 4061 kt which was 851 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 14 kt for January to August 2019 compared to the same months of 2018.

In August 2019, refined lead production was 1046.7 kt and consumption was 1079.3 kt.


Zinc market records deficit in January to August 2019

The zinc market was in deficit by 189 kt during January to August 2019 which compares with a surplus of 62 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks decreased by 2.8 kt during January to August with a net decrease in Shanghai of 30 kt over the period. LME stocks fell again in August and closed 62 kt below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 12 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in Taiwan and Dutch warehouses.

Global refined production rose by 1.6 per cent and consumption was 6.1 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 340.7 kt, 2.7 per cent below the equivalent total for January to August 2018.

World demand was 530 kt higher than for January to August 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 4438 kt which is 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In August 2019, slab zinc production was 1184.0 kt and consumption 1240.9 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to August 2019

The nickel market was in deficit during January to August 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 77.1 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 102.9 kt.. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of August 2019 were 53.8 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to August 2019 totalled 1520.5 kt and demand was 1597.6 kt.

Mine production during January to August was 1608.7 kt, 68 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 61 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 818.9 kt, 139 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 67 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In August 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 209.0 kt and consumption was 217.7 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to August 2019

The tin market recorded a deficit of 5.6 kt during January to August 2019 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Chinese demand is calculated on an apparent basis using reported stocks on the Shanghai exchange. It is likely that other stocks at producers and consumers may have increased which would imply that the demand figure may be overstated. WBMS has no information on any other stock changes. Total reported stocks were 7.1 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 6 kt, compared with the January to August 2018 total. Production in Asia was 5.9 kt higher than the January to August 2018 total. Apparent demand in China was 11 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to August 2019 was 254.4 kt which was 1.8 per cent above the comparable period of 2018. Japanese consumption was 18.4 kt which was 3.1 per cent below the comparable total for January to August 2018.

In August 2019, refined production was 32.0 kt and consumption was 31.8 kt


Dated 16th October 2019


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics October 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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