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PRESS RELEASE
15/08/2012

January to June 2012 METALS BALANCES

Primary aluminium market remains in surplus January to June 2012

The calculated market surplus for primary aluminium for January to June 2012 was 381 kt which follows a surplus of 1797.9 kt recorded for the whole of 2011. Demand for primary aluminium for last year was 42.76 million tonnes, 2303 kt more than the equivalent total 2010. Production in January to June 2012 rose by 715 kt from the same period in 2011 and following on from a 3.10 million ton increase over the whole of 2011. Total reported stocks fell by 199 kt during June and at the end of the month were 6.85 million tonnes which equated to just over 58 days demand and compares with 7.0 million tonnes at the end of 2011. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 5135 kt at the end of June 2012 which was 52 kt below the December 2011 total. Global producer stocks at the end of June 2012 were 1326 kt which was 78 kt below the previous 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 June 2012 by 3.27 per cent compared with the same months of 2011. Chinese output was estimated at 9489.3 kt and this currently accounts for 42 per cent of the world production total. China was a net importer of unwrought aluminium during January to June with imports exceeding exports by
11.8 kt. During the whole of the 2011 calendar year Chinese net exports totalled 433 kt.

Production in the EU27 fell by 5.6 per cent and NAFTA output fell by 1.3 per cent. EU27 demand was 14.2 per cent below the comparable period for 2011 total. Global demand rose by 4.0 per cent during the first six months of the year compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In June 2012, primary aluminium production was 3835.8 kt and consumption was 3839.9 kt.

Copper market records deficit in January to June 2012

The copper market recorded a deficit of 129 kt in January to June 2012 which follows a surplus of 433 kt in the whole of 2011. Reported stocks rose by 3.4 kt during June and ended the month 163 kt lower than at the end of 2011. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile

World mine production in January to June was 8.23 million tonnes which was 3.2 per cent higher than in the same period in 2011. Global refined production rose to 10.1 million tonnes up 3.1per cent with significant increases recorded for Spain (56.8 kt), Iran (11.8 kt) and India (20.7 kt).Chilean output fell by 70.0 kt.

Global consumption for January to June 2012 was 10201 kt, the figure for the 2011 calendar year was 19465 kt. Chinese apparent consumption in January to June 2012 rose by 905 kt to 4414 kt which represented just over 43 per cent of global demand. EU27 demand was, at 1595.2 kt, 8.4 per cent below the January to June 2011 total.

In June 2012, refined copper production was 1709.0 kt and consumption was 1693.5 kt.

Lead market records surplus in January to June 2012

The lead market was in surplus by 40.8 kt in January to June 2012 which follows a surplus of 4.3 kt kt recorded in the whole of 2011. Total stocks at the end of June were 2.1 kt higher than at the end of 2011. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

Lead mine production was 2707.4 kt which was 25 per cent above the total recorded for the first six months of 2011. The jump in production of concentrates is largely due to abnormally low Chinese output in January and February 2011. Refined production from both primary and secondary sources was 4951 kt. Global production rose by 14 kt and demand was 19 kt lower. Chinese production in June was exceptionally high at 468 kt and the apparent demand for the month was almost 470 kt. Apparent consumption in China totalled 2212 kt of lead in January to June 2012 which was 12 kt below the comparable period in 2011 and represented 45 per cent of the global total.

In June 2012, refined lead production was 913.0 kt and consumption was 902.0 kt.



Zinc market records surplus in January to June 2012

The zinc market was in surplus by 264 kt during January to June 2012 with a surplus of 551 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 139 kt in the first six months of the year with almost all of the increase recorded at LME warehouses. LME stocks represented 75 per cent of the global total. The global demand total included a rise in the apparent demand figure for China of 1.0 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.

Global refined production fell by 2.4 per cent and consumption fell by 2.2 per cent compared with the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese demand was, at 229.8 kt, 7.2 per cent below the equivalent total for January to June 2011.

World demand was 133 kt lower than in the first six months of 2011. Chinese apparent demand was 2599 kt which is just over 43 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In June 2012 slab zinc production was 1076.6 and consumption 1063.7 kt.

Nickel market records surplus in January to June 2012

The Nickel market was in surplus during January to June 2012 with production exceeding apparent demand by 56 kt. In the whole of 2011 the calculated surplus was 7 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of May were 2.2 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Apparent demand during the second quarter was substantially below the production total. The apparent surplus for the April to June period was more than 47 kt. Refined production in January to June totalled 867.9 kt and demand was 811.5 kt.

Mine production during January to June was 983 kt, 170 kt above the comparable 2011 total. Japanese refinery output increased by 1.4 kt compared with 2011 but apparent demand was 16.2 kt lower than in 2011.

World apparent demand was 50 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes

In June 2012, nickel smelter production was 158.4 kt and consumption was 138.6 kt.


Tin market records surplus in January to June 2012

The tin market recorded a surplus 1.4 kt during January to June 2012 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Total reported stocks which had been rising month on month since January, fell back slightly during May and June and ended the month at 32.2 kt which is still 2.3 kt higher than in December 2011. Almost all recorded stocks are now held in Asia.

Global reported production of refined metal (excluding re-processed LME metal) was down by 6 kt, compared with January to June 2011. Apparent demand in China was 2.9 per cent higher than during the first six months of 2011.

Global tin demand during January to June 2012 was 174.8 kt which was 5.9 per cent below the comparable period of 2011. Japanese consumption was 13.8 kt which was 8.6 per cent below the comparable total for 2011.

In June 2012, refined production was 29.7 kt and demand was 30.3 kt


Dated 15th August 2012