SHANGHAI, Jun. 4 (SMM) – China produced 212,000 mt of lead concentrate in April, down 5.85% YoY, but up 10.94% MoM, NBS data show. January-April output fell by 14.25% to 639,000 mt, with the decline narrowing from that in the first three months.
Rising lead and silver prices boosted lead production in April. SMM #1 lead prices averaged RMB 13,191.7/mt in April, rising by RMB 841.7/mt from March. The average SMM #2 silver price increased RMB 10.55/kg to RMB 3,486.25/kg.
In addition, improving weather conditions in north China also allowed production in Inner Mongolia and Gansu to recover.
Lead concentrate production in Inner Mongolia and Yunnan was 101,000 mt and 13,000 mt, respectively, up 7,000 mt and 2,000 mt from March. Output in Guangxi grew 5,000 mt to 9,000 mt and that in Shaanxi rose by 4,000 mt to 7,000 mt. Guangdong reported a 1,000 mt rise in output to 5,000 mt, and Gansu saw its output up 1,000 mt to 5,000 mt. Jiangxi’s output climbed 7,000 mt to 9,000 mt. Jiangxi’s output totaled 40,000 mt for the whole of 2014.
Hunan’s lead concentrate output declined 4,000 mt to 27,000 mt as Hunan Jinshuitang Mining suspended production due to illegal pollutant emission. Strict environmental protection crackdowns also resulted in a 2,000 mt output fall in each of Sichuan and Fujian. Output in Henan slipped 4,000 mt to 10,000 mt.
Increasing lead and silver prices and higher temperatures will continue to encourage concentrate production in May. However, stress from environmental protection and safe production inspections will limit the output growth.