SHANGHAI, Oct. 17 (SMM) – Recent sharp declines in LME lead prices offered profitable opportunities for Chinese smelters that have suffered from raw material shortages to import lead concentrate, SMM learns.
Three-month lead on the London Metal Exchange has lost about $100 per tonne after China’s National Day holiday, down to $1,987 per tonne as of early Friday.
SMM’s estimates show the prevailing import prices for lead concentrate (Pb 60%) are around 12,100 yuan per tonne (silver content excluded) assuming the TC is $160 per tonne, on par with prices for Chinese concentrate. That, plus the $1.5 per ounce RC for silver, allows profits for Chinese smelter to import lead concentrate.
“Profit-driven smelters are planning to step up lead concentrate imports, and this will help ease lead concentrate shortage that has inhibited China’s lead production this year,” SMM analyst Zhu Rongrong said.
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