The zinc market was in surplus by 143 kt during January to April 2018 which compares with a deficit of 486 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year, according to an update from WBMS. Reported stocks rose by 90 kt during January to April with a net increase in Shanghai of 39 kt over the period. LME stocks rose by 79.4 kt and 24.5 kt respectively in March and April closing at 237.3 kt which compares with 181 kt at the end of 2017. LME stocks represent 31% of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in US warehouses.
Global refined zinc production rose by 1.3% and consumption was 5.3% lower than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 170.1 kt, 3.1% above the equivalent total for January to April 2017. The March figure was higher than usual due to a decline of 9.3 kt in producer stocks at the end of the Japanese fiscal year. World demand was 243 kt lower than for January to April 2017. Chinese apparent demand was 1950.8 kt which is just under 45 per cent of the global total.
The lead market was in deficit by 116 kt in January to April 2018 which follows a deficit of 412 kt recorded in the whole of 2017. Total stocks at the end of April were 25 kt lower than at the end of 2017. World refined production during January to April 2018 from both primary and secondary sources was 38474 kt which was 3.3% higher than in the comparable months of 2017. Chinese demand was 62 kt above the comparable period in 2017 and represented just under 43% of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 16 kt for January to April 2018 compared to the same months of 2017. In April 2018, refined lead production was 925.7 kt and consumption was 987.8 kt.