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Press Release July 2015
22/07/2015

January to May 2015 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market records deficit in January to May 2015

The calculated market deficit for primary aluminium for January to May 2015 was 261 kt which follows a deficit of 723 kt recorded for the whole of 2014. Demand for primary aluminium for January to May 2015 was 23.68 million tonnes 3088 kt more than the first five months of 2014. Production in January to May 2015 rose by 3288 kt compared with 2014. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 32 kt during May and at the end of the month were 4697 kt which equated to 34 days demand and compares with 5020 kt at the end of 2014. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 4033 kt at the end of May 2015 which was 412 kt below the December 2014 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes especially those held in China.

Overall, global production rose in January to May 2015 rose by 16.3 per cent compared with the first five months of 2014. Chinese output was estimated at 12817 kt and this currently accounts for almost 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 31 per cent higher than 2014. Chinese net exports were 178 kt in January to May and net exports for the whole of 2014 were 313 kt.

Production in the EU28 rose by 2.2 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 3.4 per cent. EU28 demand was 114 kt lower than the comparable 2014 total. Global demand rose by 15 per cent during January to May compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In May 2015, primary aluminium production was 4851.3 kt and consumption was 4909.8 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to May 2015

The copper market recorded a surplus of 196 kt in January to May 2015 which follows a surplus of 282 kt in the whole of 2014. Reported stocks rose by 121 kt over the first five months of 2015. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile

World mine production in January to May 2015 was 7.82 million tonnes which was 3.5 per cent higher than in the same period in 2014. Global refined production rose to 9.31 million tonnes up 3.2 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 189 kt).

Global consumption for January to May 2015 was 9113 kt compared to 9276 kt for the same months of 2014. Chinese apparent consumption in January to May 2015 fell by 13 kt to 4438 kt which represented 48.7 per cent of global demand. EU28 production rose by 1.7 per cent and demand was, at 1391 kt, 1.1 per cent above the January to May 2014 total.

In May 2015, refined copper production was 1913.7 kt and consumption was 1870.3 kt.

Lead market records small surplus in January to May 2015

The lead market was in surplus by 31 kt in January to May 2015 which follows a deficit of 16.8 kt recorded in the whole of 2014. Total stocks at the end of May were 93.5 kt lower than at the end of 2014. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to May 2015 from both primary and secondary sources was 4146 kt which was 3.7 per cent lower than in the comparable months of 2014. Global demand was 206 kt lower. Apparent consumption in China totalled 1655 kt of lead in January to May 2015 which was 73 kt below the comparable period in 2014 and represented just over 40 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 47 kt.

In May 2015, refined lead production was 850.8 kt and consumption was 832.9 kt.




Zinc market records surplus in January to May 2015

The zinc market was in surplus by 214 kt during January to May 2015 which compares with a deficit of 145 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 75 kt during the five month period. LME stocks fell by 15.9 kt in May and ended the month 238 kt lower than at the end of 2014. LME stocks represent 41 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand fell by 0.2 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China rose by 14.4 per cent compared with 2014. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 44.6 kt in May which brought the year to date figure to 178 kt, 133 kt lower than January to April 2014.

Global refined production rose by 8.2 per cent and consumption rose by 0.9 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 171.9 kt, 18 per cent below the equivalent total for January to May 2014.

World demand was 49 kt lower than the January to May 2014. Chinese apparent demand was 2522 kt which is just under 46 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In May 2015 slab zinc production was 1206.6 and consumption 1179.9 kt.

Nickel market records surplus in January to May 2015

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to May 2015 with production exceeding apparent demand by 19 kt. In the whole of 2014 the calculated surplus was 196.1 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of May were 51 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to May totalled 734 kt and demand was 715 kt.

Mine production during January to May was 832.4 kt, 25.1 kt above the comparable 2014. The Indonesian export ban and the assumed drastic decline in local mine production began at the beginning of 2014. Japanese smelter/refinery output increased by 8.6 kt compared with 2014 and apparent demand was 0.8 kt higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 7.1 kt lower than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In May 2015, nickel smelter/refinery production was 157.5 kt and consumption was 167.0 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to May 2015

The tin market recorded a deficit of 12 kt during January to May 2015 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell during May and ended the period 5.0 kt lower than December 2014.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was down by 21.1 kt, compared with January to May 2014. Apparent demand in China was 13.8 per cent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to May 2014 was 149.2 kt which was 5.6 per cent below the comparable period of 2014. Japanese consumption was 11.3 kt which was 0.3 kt below the comparable total for 2014.

In May 2015, refined production was 28.1 kt and demand was 30.1 kt


Dated 22nd July 2015
- ENDS-


The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics July 2015 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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