By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
May 20, 2016 05:12:06 AM
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest Metals Balances Report for the first quarter of the current year released by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) indicates that Nickel market has ended in a small deficit during Jan-Mar ’16. Also, Tin market too has recorded marginal deficit during the quarter. On the other hand, global Zinc market recorded minor surplus during Q1 2016.
The worldwide zinc market has recorded a marginal surplus during January to March this year. This is after recording a surplus during the entire year 2015.
As per WBMS data, the global zinc market recorded small surplus of 90 kt during the initial three months of the year from January to March. It should be noted that the worldwide zinc market had reported a surplus of 118 kt during the entire year 2015.
Global refined zinc production witnessed decline of 6.4% during the initial three-month period of 2016. The Chinese production of locally refined zinc dropped sharply by nearly 6.0% when compared with 2015.
The global demand for the metal has dropped by 126 kt when matched with January to March in 2015. The Chinese apparent demand rose marginally by 0.2% over the previous year. The Japanese demand for the metal tumbled by 23.3% when matched with the levels recorded during Jan-Mar ’15. The demand during the three-month period totaled 104 kt.
The reported stock of the metal has increased by 51,000 tonnes during the initial quarter of the year. The LME zinc stocks tanked by 40,000 tonnes during the month of March and accounted for 38% of the global stock of the metal. The LME stock levels at the end of March this year were 28 kt lower when matched with end-2015 levels.
The Chinese zinc metal imports increased during Jan-Mar ’16 to 181 kt when compared with the imports of 82 kt during the same period last year. The imports of special high grade zinc metal by China totaled 77 kt during the month of March this year.
The zinc slab production during Mar ’15 totaled 1,074.5 kt and the consumption totaled 1,038.3 kt.
Global nickel market ended in small deficit of 8,400 tonnes in January-March 2016 with apparent demand exceeding production. The calculated full year surplus had stood at 33.6 kt during the whole year 2015, according to WBMS.
The statistics indicate that that reported stockpiles maintained by LME were 1.4 kt lower at the end of March this year from the closing levels of 2015.
World Nickel mine production was 517.3 kt in January-March 2016, lower by 14 kt when compared with the corresponding period during previous year. The ban on exports by Indonesian administration has led to reduced mine output from the country. In addition, the local mine production from the country has been weak since the beginning of 2014.
Refined Nickel production in Jan-Mar ’16 was 409.8 kt. The total smelter/refinery production of Nickel was 136.6 kt in March 2016. Japan's smelter/refinery production during the initial three-month period of the year witnessed a jump of 5.0 kt compared to 2015.
Refined Nickel consumption during Jan-Mar ’16 surged higher by 67 kt when matched with the previous year. Nickel smelter consumption was 146.6 kt in March this year.
The apparent demand of Nickel from Japan was marginally higher by 2.2 kt during January to March this year when matched with the previous year. The refined Nickel demand in Jan-Mar ’16 totaled 418.2 kt.
The worldwide Tin market has recorded a marginal deficit during January to March this year. There were no DLA deliveries during the three-month period, the data said.
As per WBMS data, the global Tin market recorded slight deficit of 2.0 kt during the initial three months of the year from January to March in 2016.
Global refined Tin production recorded slight increase of 3.60 kt during the three-month period. The above production figure is without taking into account re-processed LME metal. The Asian production totaled 74.4 kt during Jan-Mar ’16, modestly higher when matched with the production of 69.6 kt during the corresponding period last year.
The global demand for the metal has increased by 2.6% when matched with January to March in 2015. The demand totaled 90 kt during this period. The Chinese apparent demand saw significant uptick of 4.6% over the previous year. The Japanese consumption totaled 6.3 kt, marginally lower by 1.1 kt when compared with the demand of 7.4 kt recorded during January to March in 2015.
The reported stock of the metal dropped during Q1 2016. The stock at the end of the initial three-month period in 2016 was lower by 1.1 kt when compared with Dec ’15 closing levels. The reported stocks rose during the month of March alone.
During the month of March alone, the global refined Tin production totaled 29.8 kt, as against the demand of 30.8 kt.