SHANGHAI, May 8 (SMM) - SMM surveys 48 Chinese primary lead smelters with total capacity at 4.69 million tonnes per year and indicates that average operating rate at those surveyed was 56.43% in April 2017, down 6.94 percentage points on a monthly basis.
Average operating rate at large smelters, capacity above 100,000 tonnes per year, reduced 6.98 percentage points MoM to 72.68% in April. This was due largely to output reduction at Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead, Henan Jinli Gold & Lead Group, Yunnan Chihong Zinc & Germanium and Hunan Jingui Silver.
The rate at medium smelters, capacity between 50,000-100,000 tonnes per year, was down 6.8 percentage points MoM to 47.24% in April. Jiangxi Copper Corporation, Shandong Humon Smelting and Chifeng Shanjin Silver & Lead started maintenance. Xinling Lead Industry and Henan Zhicheng Gold & Lead released small amounts of goods after reopening.
Small smelters, capacity below 50,000 tonnes per year, saw the rate down by 7.54 percentage points MoM to 15.43% in April, as blast furnace inspections kept lead smelters in Yunnan Gejiu offline.
Some large primary lead smelters will continue cutting production in May. Lead smelters will show low operating interest, in response of weak lead prices and sluggish demand. SMM expects average operating rate at primary lead smelters to edge down to 56.19% in May from April’s level.
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