SHANGHAI, Jul. 10 (SMM) – An SMM survey of 43 domestic major primary lead smelters (total capacity: 4.045 million mt/yr) revealed the following insights:
SMM’s survey revealed the average operating rate for June at the 43 domestic major primary lead smelters fell 7.02 percentage points MoM, to 56.65%, and with a refined lead output of 188,300 mt.
Enterprises of all sizes experienced decline in operating rates during June. The average operating rate at smaller enterprises with capacities below 50,000 mt/yr fell the most, down by 20.19% MoM from last month’s 46.73%. Mengzi Mining & Metallurgy and Jiyuan Jinhui Lead both suspended operations during May and June due to weak market prices, dragging down the average for smaller smelters.
Refined lead output in June from medium size smelters was 87,400 mt, and with the average operating rate down 9.64% MoM. Maintenance at Chihong Zn & Ge and Jingui Silver during June was a major factor behind the drop.
Larger smelters with capacities above 100,000 mt/yr maintained relatively steady production but also reported a 0.84% MoM decline, with the average operating rate falling to 76.57%. The decline at larger smelters was also a reflection of the weak market during June, which pushed some larger smelters to close some production lines.
Although average operating rates during May were not significantly affected by falling lead prices during the second half of May, smelters expressed intentions at that time to adjust future production, leading to lower averages in June.