SHANGHAI, Nov 21 (SMM) – Winter stockpiling across lead smelters is likely to lower treatment charges (TCs) of domestic lead concentrate in the fourth quarter. Bad weather deterred supplies at lead mines in high altitude regions of Inner Mongolia and Qinghai, and this will also weigh on the TCs to the year end, SMM believes.
As of November 21, import window for lead concentrate has remained open since the start of Q4. Supply tightness of domestic lead concentrate will push smelters to purchase imported materials.
Current high TCs supported smelters' producing enthusiasm, who will also step up production to meet annual targets. In October, raw materials stocks at those smelters jumped 5.68% from September, reflecting robust demand.
Domestic TCs rallied all the way up from Q1 to Q3 this year, to a high around 1,800 yuan/mt in metal content as of November 1, SMM monthly TC data showed.