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WMS Market Balances
19/10/2016

January to August 2016 METALS BALANCES


Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to August 2016

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to August 2016 was a deficit of 658 kt which follows a deficit of 476 kt recorded for the whole of 2015. Demand for primary aluminium for January to August 2016 was 38.45 million tonnes 299 kt less than the first eight months of 2015. Production in January to August 2016 fell by 573 kt compared with 2015. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell by 84 kt during August and at the end of the month were 2814 kt which equated to 18 days demand and compares with 3787 kt at the end of 2015. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 2348.2 kt at the end of August 2016 which was 884 kt below the December 2015 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 2016 by 1.49 per cent compared with the first eight months of 2015. Chinese output was estimated at 20688 kt and this currently accounts for 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.8 per cent lower than 2015. Chinese net exports were 242 kt in January to August and net exports for the whole of 2015 were 342 kt. Net exports of aluminium semi manufactures from China have fallen from 2558 in January to August 2015 to 2489 in the first eight months of 2016.

Production in the EU28 fell by 0.6 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 9.4 per cent. EU28 demand was 209 kt higher than the comparable 2015 total. Global demand fell by 0.8 per cent during January to August compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In August 2016, primary aluminium production was 4867.5 kt and consumption was 4882.0 kt.

Copper market records surplus in January to August 2016

The copper market recorded a surplus of 90 kt in January to August 2016 which follows a surplus of 302 kt in the whole of 2015. Reported stocks rose during August and closed 99 kt higher than at the end of December 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 August 2016 was 13.44 million tonnes which was 6.7 per cent higher than in the same period in 2015. Global refined production rose to 15.68 million tonnes up 4.5 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China (up 424 kt) and Chile (up 30 kt).

Global consumption for January to August 2016 was 15.59 million tonnes compared with 14.79 million tonnes for the same months of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption in January to August 2016 rose by 553 kt to 7663 kt compared to the same months of 2015 which represented just over 49 per cent of global demand. EU28 production fell by 2.7 per cent and demand was 2365 kt, 5.7 per cent above the January to August 2015 total.

In August 2016, refined copper production was 2035.6 kt and consumption was 1904.9 kt.

Lead market records deficit in January to August 2016

The lead market was in deficit by 58 kt in January to August 2016 which follows a deficit of 17 kt recorded in the whole of 2015. Total stocks at the end of August were 56 kt higher than at the end of 2015. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

World refined production during January to August 2016 from both primary and secondary sources was 7145.7 kt which was 5 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2015. Global demand was 383 kt higher. Apparent consumption in China totalled 2823.1 kt of lead in January to August 2016 which was 250 kt above the comparable period in 2015 and represented over 39 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 14.9 kt for January to August 2016 compared to the first eight months of 2015.

In August 2016, refined lead production was 903.8 kt and consumption was 891.1 kt.




Zinc market records deficit in January to August 2016

The zinc market was in deficit by 29 kt during January to August 2016 which compares with a surplus of 100 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks fell by 25 kt during the eight month period. LME stocks rose by 19.9 kt in August and ended the month 11.6 kt lower than at the end of 2015. LME stocks represent 43 per cent of the global total. Chinese demand rose by 4.0 per cent compared with the previous year. Production of locally refined metal in China fell by 0.7 per cent compared with 2015. Chinese imports of mostly special high grade metal were 17 kt in July but rose slightly in August to 25 kt which brought the year to date figure to 334 kt, 68 kt higher than in January to August 2015.

Global refined production fell by 2.3 per cent and consumption increased by 0.04 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 297 kt, 9 per cent below the equivalent total for January to August 2015.

World demand was 4 kt higher than for January to August 2015. Chinese apparent demand was 4351 kt which is just over 48 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In August 2016 slab zinc production was 1215.4 kt and consumption 1156.4 kt.

Nickel market records deficit in January to August 2016

The Nickel market was in deficit during January to August 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production by 75.1 kt. In the whole of 2015 the calculated surplus was 46.2 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of August were 72.2 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to August totalled 1183 kt and demand was 1258 kt.

Mine production during January to August was 1355.8 kt, 75.1 kt below the comparable 2015 total. The Indonesian export ban and the assumed drastic decline in local mine production began at the beginning of 2014. Chinese smelter/refinery output decreased by 40.6 kt compared with 2015 and apparent demand was 70.9 kt higher than in the previous year due to increased imports of Nickel Pig Iron from Indonesia and higher imports of metal from Russia.

World apparent demand was 106 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In August 2016, nickel smelter/refinery production was 152.9 kt and consumption was 152.8 kt.


Tin market records deficit in January to August 2016

The tin market recorded a deficit of 20.5 kt during January to August 2016 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks fell by 2.3 kt during August and ended the period 3.6 kt lower than December 2015.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 2.3 kt, compared with January to August 2015. Production in Asia increased from 185.0 kt in January to August 2015 to 185.3 kt in the comparable period in 2016. Apparent demand in China was 7.7 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to August 2016 was 254.4 kt which was 3.3 per cent above the comparable period of 2015. Japanese consumption was 17.6 kt which was 0.2 kt below the comparable total for 2015.

In August 2016, refined production was 28.8 kt and demand was 31.1 kt


Dated 19th October 2016
- ENDS-






The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics October 2016 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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Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

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