SHANGHAI, Mar. 27 (SMM) – Soft consumption, high inventories, replenishments, and costs have become key factors for lead price trends in the second quarter.
SMM released the result of its survey concerning 2Q lead price outlook at the Shanghai Lead & Zinc Summit 2013. SMM conducted the survey to 29 large enterprises, including 10 lead smelters, 10 lead-acid battery producers, and 9 traders.
As of March 20, China’s average spot price of #1 lead in 2013 was RMB 14,726/mt with prices mainly hovering between RMB 14,400-15,000/mt over the period and rarely standing above RMB 15,000/mt. The figures were 6.3% and 3.7% lower than a year earlier.
Yuguang Gold & Lead, Camel Group, Leoch International, Panasonic Batteries, and Wuhan Changguang Battery believe the highest lead price will be around RMB 15,500/mt in 2Q, while Zhuzhou Smelt, Chihong Zn & Ge, Nanfang Nonferrous Metals, Hubei Jinyang Metallurgical, Narada, Fengfan, and Yaheng Storage Battery expect the high price will be RMB 15,000/mt, and Wanyang Nonferrous Metals and Shuikoushan Nonferrous Metals expected lower at RMB 14,800/mt.
Zhuzhou Smelt, Nanfang Nonferrous Metals, Jinli Gold & Lead, Shoto, Leoch International, Fengfan, Shanghai Jingsheng Metal, Xiamen Chinalead, and Huayi Nonferrous Trading expected the lowest level for 2Q lead prices to be RMB 14,700/mt, and estimate from Hubei Jinyang Metallurgical, Wanyang Nonferrous Metals and Shuikoushan Nonferrous is RMB 14,500/mt.
Given the great inventory pressure and weak consumption, Zhuzhou Smelt and Chihong Zn & Ge predict lead prices will move between RMB 14,700-15,000/mt in 2Q. Yuguang Gold & Lead is relatively optimistic, noting the price range will be RMB 15,000-15,500/mt with consumption turning around and overcapacity moderated.
Battery giant Chaowei Power expects lead prices to move between RMB 14,000-14,700/mt in 2Q, which are far below 1Q’s level, as low-demand season for lead-acid batteries will fall during April-June and as lead supply is ample.