Lead gains remained on a high during 2018. The prices on MCX Lead recovered by 16.5% in May 2018 on a year on year basis but gained by 3.12% on a month on month basis. Preliminary data from International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) indicated that world refined lead metal demand exceeded supply by 37000 tonnes during the first quarter of 2018. Over the same period total reported stock levels decreased by 26000 tonnes.
A 8.9% increase in global lead mine production compared to the first quarter of 2017 was mainly due to higher output in China, Morocco and Turkey. Refined lead metal global output increased by 3.4%, mainly influenced by a reported 4.6% rise in China. Production was also higher in Australia and the United States. In the Republic of Korea, output was 3.7% lower compared to the first quarter of 2017. An increase in global usage of refined lead metal of 4.0% was primarily a consequence of rises in Chinese and US apparent demand of 7.1% and 4.6% respectively. Usage in Europe increased by 1.0%. Chinese imports of lead contained in lead concentrates fell by 22.1% to 134000 tonnes. Net exports of refined lead metal totalled 5000 tonnes compared to net imports of 25000 tonnes over the same period of 2017.