SHANGHAI, May 19 (SMM) – China’s primary lead output may decline more slowly in the second quarter and the 2015 total output will be level with 2014, Wang Ye, Vice President of BGRIMM Lilan Consulting, said while attending the 2015 SMM Lead&Zinc Summit May 13-15.
Last year’s sharp lead price falls and weak lead consumption have resulted in massive stoppages of Chinese primary lead smelters. During the first quarter of 2015, lead prices continued to slip, leaving more severe losses for smelters. Therefore, primary lead output fell by 9.3% to only 710,000 tonnes in Q1.
“Ample supply of raw materials which pushed up TCs for lead concentrate will help narrow the output decline in the second quarter,” Ms. Wang said.
However, she noted that the increase in TCs may be unable to fully offset losses of smelters, particularly when prices of by-products - gold and silver - dropped.
Wang thus expects primary lead output for the whole of 2015 to remain stable, or possibly edge lower, from 2014. But she predicted that production growth may return back to 9.5% 2016-2017.
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