SHANGHAI, Feb. 13 (SMM) – An SMM survey of 43 domestic major primary lead smelters (total capacity: 4.045 million mt/yr) revealed the following insights:
SMM has recently made adjustments in the survey sample for 2012 and has increased the number of primary lead smelters from 40 to 43 and with the total surveyed capacity increasing to 4.045 million mt/yr. The new survey sample will now represent 90% of China’s total primary lead capacity.
According to the survey, the average operating rate at China’s primary lead smelters during January was 56.32%, down almost 4% from December. Operating rates both at large enterprises and SMEs fell to by different degrees, but operating rates at small and large enterprises showed the largest declines.
Refined lead output at large enterprises with capacities exceeding 100,000 mt/yr in January rose by 11,100 mt from December. However, the expanded capacities were far beyond the increase in output, causing operating rates to fall by 7.47% MoM.
At medium enterprises with capacities between 50,000-100,000 mt/yr, Yunnan Tin Group completed maintenance in Januray and resumed production, but most other enterprises were still gradually resuming production, so the average operating rate at medium enterprises did not change significantly.
Opearating rates at small enterprises fell sharply in January, but several new small enterprises in Yunnan province were added to the survey sample. Traditionally, these enterprises close for the Chinese New Year holiday, lowering refined lead output, but production at enterprises in Yunnan province were also severely affected by water shortages, which caused operating rates to fall sharply.