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Press Release December 2019
17/12/2019

January to October 2019 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to October 2019

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to October 2019 was a deficit of 298 kt which follows a deficit of 667 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to October 2019 was 51.92 million tonnes, 750 kt less than in the same ten months of 2018. Production in January to October 2019 fell by 317kt compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell slightly during October and closed at the end of the month 677 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks rose during October, mostly in Asian warehouses, Total stocks at the end of October 2019 were 1753 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 October 2019 which were 678 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 October 2019 by 0.6 per cent compared with the first ten months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 29252 kt and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 0.7 per cent higher than in January to October 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 304 kt during January to October 2019 which compares with 309 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to October 2019 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 4032 kt which compares with 3810 kt for the first ten months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 1.2 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 5.3 per cent. EU28 demand was 302 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand fell by 1.5 per cent during January to October 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In October 2019, primary aluminium production was 5197.6 kt and consumption was 5157.4 kt.

Copper market deficit in January to October 2019

The copper market recorded a deficit of 187 kt in January to October 2019 which follows a deficit of 275 kt in the whole of 2018. Reported stocks rose during October to close 79 kt higher than at the end of December 2018. This October increase includes net deliveries of 3.8 kt out of the LME warehouses and net deliveries of 25.5 kt into Shanghai warehouses. Comex stocks dropped by 67.5 kt over the first ten 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 October 2019 was 17.0 million tonnes which was 1.4 per cent higher than in the same period in 2018. Global refined production for January to October 2019 was 19.42 million tonnes down 0.8 per cent compared with the previous year with significant decreases recorded in India (down 114kt) and in Chile (down 197 kt).

Global consumption for January to October 2019 was 19.61 million tonnes compared with 19.81 million tonnes for the same months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to October 2019 was 10264 kt which was 0.45 per cent higher than the first ten months of 2018. EU28 production fell by 5.1 per cent and demand was 2600 kt, 7.3 per cent below the January to October 2018 total.

In October 2019, refined copper production was 2060.5 kt and consumption was 2070.3 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to October 2019

The lead market recorded a deficit of 281kt in January to October 2019 which follows a deficit of 243 kt recorded in the whole of 2018. Total stocks at the end of October were 30 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 October 2019 from both primary and secondary sources was 10095 kt which was 5.8 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2018. Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 4722 kt which was 581 kt higher than the comparable period in 2018 and represented about 46 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased fractionally 7 kt for January to October 2019 compared to the same months of 2018.

In October 2019, refined lead production was 1062.3 kt and consumption was 1066.3 kt.


Zinc market records deficit in January to October 2019

The zinc market was in deficit by 85 kt during January to October 2019 which compares with a surplus of 109 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks decreased by 29 kt during January to October with a net increase in Shanghai of 44 kt over the period. LME stocks fell again in October and closed 74.5 kt below the December 2018 level. LME stocks represent 10.6 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 5.7 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 432 kt, 7.8 per cent above the equivalent total for January to October 2018.

World demand was 621 kt higher than for January to October 2018. Chinese apparent demand was 5597 kt which is 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In October 2019, slab zinc production was 1205.7 kt and consumption 1190.1 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to October 2019

The nickel market was in deficit during January to October 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 40.4 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 102.9 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of October 2019 were 140 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to October 2019 totalled 1971.7 kt and demand was 2012.1 kt.

Mine production during January to October was 2091.9 kt, 123 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 88 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 1074.2 kt, 161 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 38 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In October 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 229.5 kt and consumption was 204.5 kt.


Tin market records surplus in January to October 2019

The tin market recorded a surplus of 1.4 kt during January to October 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 6.7 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 11 kt, compared with the January to October 2018 total. Production in Asia was 9.7 kt higher than the January to October 2018 total. Apparent demand in China was 9.7 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to October 2019 was 313.7 kt which was 0.4 per cent below the comparable period of 2018. Japanese consumption was 21.5 kt which was 8.0 per cent below the comparable total for January to October 2018.

In October 2019, refined production was 33.4 kt and consumption was 32.1 kt


Dated 17th December 2019


- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics December2019 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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