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June Press Release
23/06/2011

January and April 2011 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market in surplus January to April 2011

The calculated market surplus for primary aluminium for January to April 2011 was 180 kt which compares with a surplus of 417 kt registered in the first four months of 2010 and with a surplus of 709 kt in the whole of 2010. Demand for primary aluminium in the first four months of 2011 was 13.64 million tonnes, 504 kt more then the equivalent total 2010. Production in January to April rose by 267 kt following on from a 3.6 million ton increase over the whole of 2010. Total reported stocks fell fractionally during April. At the end of April total stocks were 6.89 million tonnes which equated to just under 63 days demand and compares with 6.51 million tonnes at the end of last year. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 4994 kt at the end of April which was 278 kt above the December 2010 total. Global producer stocks at the end of April were 1514 kt which was 118 kt above last year’s close. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes especially those held in China.

Overall, global production rose in January to April by 2 per cent compared with the first four months of 2010. Chinese output was estimated at 5533 kt and this currently accounts for 40 per cent of the world production total. China was a net exporter of unwrought aluminium with exports exceeding imports by 96 kt. During the whole of the 2010 calendar year, Chinese net exports totalled 390 kt.

Production in the EU27 rose by 7.1 per cent and NAFTA output was 2.9 per cent higher. EU27 demand was 16 per cent above the January to April 2010 period. Global demand rose by 3.8 per cent in the first four months compared with the levels recorded one year ago.

In April 2011, primary aluminium production was 3613.9 kt and consumption was 3471.1 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to April 2011

The copper market recorded a surplus of 116.9 kt In January to April 2011 which compares with a surplus of 40 kt in the whole of 2010. Reported stocks fell during April but ended the month 93 kt higher than at the end of 2010. 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 was 5.20 million tonnes which was 2.3 per cent higher than in the same months of 2010. In the first four months of 2011, refined production rose to 6.37 million tonnes up 1.3 per cent compared to the same months last year. Chinese output rose by 152 kt. Chilean metal production fell by 43 kt to 1011 kt.

Global consumption for January to April 2011 was 6249 kt and the 2010 calendar year total was 19.12 million tonnes. Chinese apparent consumption fell by 170 kt to 2261 kt which represented 36 per cent of global demand. EU27 demand was, at 1155 kt, 4.2 per cent above the January to April 2010 total.

In April 2011, refined copper production was 1607.6 kt and consumption was 1565.5 kt.

Lead market records surplus in January to April 2011

The lead market was in surplus by 67.6 kt in January to April 2011 which compares with a surplus of 53.2 kt recorded in the first four months of 2010. Total stocks at the end of April were 83.1 kt higher than at the end of 2010 with almost all of the increase registered in LME warehouses. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

Lead mine production was 1276.3 kt which was 6.7 per cent above the total recorded for the first four months of 2010. Refined production from both primary and secondary sources was 3155.5kt. Both production and demand are were more than 11 per cent above the January to April 2010 levels increasing by 324 and 309 kt respectively. Chinese apparent consumption totalled 1462 kt of lead in January to April 2011 which was 336 kt above the comparable period in 2010.

In April 2011, refined lead production was 815.4 kt and consumption was 810.4 kt.



Zinc market records surplus in January to April 2011

The zinc market was in surplus by 284 kt during January to April 2011 which compares with a surplus of 415kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 195 kt with almost all of the increase recorded at LME warehouses. LME stocks represented 78 per cent of the global total. The global demand total included a rise in the apparent demand figure for China of just under 7 per cent. According to Chinese customs data, imports remain at historically high levels. Much of the Chinese imports originate from other Asian countries. Exports reported by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan confirm the Chinese imports.

Refined production and consumption rose by 2.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively compared with the very low levels recorded at the beginning of last year. Japanese demand was, at 175.6 kt, 2.9 per cent above the equivalent total for January to April 2010.

World demand was 50.5 kt higher than in the four months of 2010. Chinese apparent demand was 1680 kt which is almost 43 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In April 2011 slab zinc production was 1059.7 and consumption 990.4 kt.

Nickel market records tiny surplus in January to April 2011

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to April 2011 with supply exceeding apparent demand by 1.6 kt. In the whole of 2010 the calculated surplus was 2 kt but this figure includes substantial imports recorded by China, some of which was destined for re-stocking purposes. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of April were 19 kt lower than at the end of last year. Refined production in January to December 2010 totalled 1513.1 kt and demand was 1511.1 kt.

Mine production during January to April was 540.3 kt, 73 kt above the comparable 2010 total. Japanese refinery output increased by 0.2 kt compared with the first four months of 2010 but apparent demand fell by 2.7 kt.

World apparent demand was 52 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In April 2011, nickel smelter production was 132.8 kt and consumption was 133.2 kt.

Tin market records surplus in January to April 2011

The tin market recorded a calculated surplus of 7.7 kt during the first four months of 2011 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks rose during April and ended the month 4.6 kt higher than at the end of December 2010. Almost all recorded stocks are now held in Asia.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was up by 10.3 kt, compared with January to April 2010. During the first four months of this year, apparent demand in China and was 1.3 per cent lower than during the comparable months of 2010.

Global tin demand during January to April 2011 was 115.1 kt which was 2.3 per cent below the comparable period of 2010. US apparent consumption in January to April 2011 was 20 per cent below the figure for 2010 due to exceptionally low imports of metal in April 2011. Japanese consumption was 10.3 kt which was 7 per cent below the comparable total for 2010.

In April 2011, refined production was 32.2 kt and demand was 29.5 kt


Dated 22nd June 2011