SHANGHAI, Dec. 26 (SMM) --
According to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA), China's domestic lead concentrate output in November was 231,500 mt, down 0.79% MoM, while YTD output through November reached 2.095 million mt, up 23.4% YoY.
According to a recent SMM survey, falling lead concentrate output is due mainly to cold weather in North China as frozen water caused suspension of some dressing processes. In addition, several small mines in North China halted production upon completion of production plans, which also led to a reduction in lead concentrate output. Data from CNIA also showed a monthly decline in lead concentrate output in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning.
Mine operators in South China have not been affected by weather, but by continuous low lead prices. As a result, lead concentrate output showed only limited growth. In general, China's lead concentrate output in November fell slightly.
According to CNIA, China's refined lead output was 409,300 mt in November, up 1.3% MoM. YTD output through November was 4.199 million mt, up 11.05% YoY.
In November, China produced 285,400 mt of primary lead, up 7.75% MoM, and in line with predictions from SMM's November survey of primary lead producers. According to SMM’s survey, operating rates at domestic primary lead producers were 60.86% in November, up 4.85% on a monthly basis.
The SMM survey results show operating rates at lead producers of all sizes were mixed during November. Operating rates at larger smelters fell in November due to unit maintenance, despite increased production at some enterprises to meet annual production targets. Operating rates at medium smelters increased significantly since unit maintenance was completed and due to improvements in power supply in Yunnan province. A large number of small smelters are located in Yunnan Province, so power supply improvements also allowed for higher operating rates at smaller smelters.
According to the data from CNIA, increased output during November was due mainly from rising output in Shaanxi province. During November, output of refined lead in Shaanxi province was 4,618 mt, up sharply on a MoM basis since Shaanxi Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Company resumed normal production upon completion of unit maintenance. Output in Yunnan province also increased with improved power supplies, with November output up 24% MoM. Yuguang Gold & Lead Company and Wanyang Smeltery Group, both located in Henan province, did not maintain full production due to unit maintenance, with output down by 5.3% MoM. Output in other regions was little changed.
SMM expects no significant changes in refined lead output during December due to current low prices, a lack of upward price momentum, and concentration by enterprises on completing production targets for the year.