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Press Release November 2019
20/11/2019

January to September 2019 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to September 2019

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to September 2019 was a deficit of 530 kt which follows a deficit of 631 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to September 2019 was 46.94 million tonnes, 467 kt less than in the same nine months of 2018. Production in January to September 2019 fell by 362kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell slightly during September and closed at the end of the month 668 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks rose slightly during September, mostly in Asian warehouses, Total stocks at the end of September 2019 were 1762 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 1274 kt at the end of September 2019 which were 554 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 September 2019 by 0.8 per cent compared with the first nine months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 26370 kt and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.0 per cent higher than in January to September 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 282 kt during January to September 2019 which compares with 291 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to September 2019 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 3668 kt which compares with 3404 kt for the first nine months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 1.2 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 5.5 per cent. EU28 demand was 170 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand fell by 1.0 per cent during January to September 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In September 2019, primary aluminium production was 5156.8 kt and consumption was 5235.2 kt.

Copper market deficit in January to September 2019

The copper market recorded a deficit of 203 kt in January to September 2019 which follows a deficit of 284 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks fell during September to close 66 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. This increase includes net deliveries of 127 kt into the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 1.2 kt out of Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 64 kt over the first nine 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 September 2019 was 15.23 million tonnes which was 1.3 per cent higher than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to September 2019 was 17.36 million tonnes down 1.3 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 99 kt) and in Chile (down 206 kt).

Global consumption for January to September 2019 was 17.56 million tonnes compared with 17.86 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to September 2019 was 9120 kt which was 1.2 per cent lower than the first nine months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 4.6 per cent and demand was 2329 kt, 7.8 per cent below the January to September 2018 total.

In September 2019, refined copper production was 2006.6 kt and consumption was 2035.5 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to September 2019

The lead market recorded a deficit of 310 kt in January to September 2019 which follows a deficit of 243 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of September were 31 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 September 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 9291 kt which was 9.1 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 4488 kt which was 823 kt higher than the comparable period in 2018 and represented about 47 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased fractionally 0.3 kt for January to September 2019 compared to the same months of 2018.

In September 2019, refined lead production was 1051.8 kt and consumption was 1112.2 kt.


Zinc market records deficit in January to September 2019

The zinc market was in deficit by 93 kt during January to September 2019 which compares with a surplus of 109 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks decreased by 9.7 kt during January to September with a net increase in Shanghai of 47 kt over the period. LME stocks fell again in September and closed 62 kt below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 12.6 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in Taiwan and Dutch warehouses.

Global refined production rose by 3.0 per cent and consumption was 6.4 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 372 kt, 3.9 per cent above the equivalent total for January to September 2018.

World demand was 626 kt higher than for January to September 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 5020 kt which is 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In September 2019, slab zinc production was 1224.7 kt and consumption 1235.5 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to September 2019

The nickel market was in deficit during January to September 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 66.9 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 102.9 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of September 2019 were 54.3 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to September 2019 totalled 1741.6 kt and demand was 1808.4 kt.

Mine production during January to September was 1869.8 kt, 102 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 75 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 960.4 kt, 159 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 53 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In September 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 225.5 kt and consumption was 230.6 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to September 2019

The tin market recorded a deficit of 4.1 kt during January to September 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 7.2 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 8 kt, compared with the January to September 2018 total. Production in Asia was 8.2 kt higher than the January to September 2018 total. Apparent demand in China was 9.5 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to September 2019 was 284.8 kt which was 1.0 per cent above the comparable period of 2018. Japanese consumption was 19.3 kt which was 6.9 per cent below the comparable total for January to September 2018.

In September 2019, refined production was 33.3 kt and consumption was 32.9 kt


Dated 20th November 2019


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics November 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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