SHANGHAI, Feb 26 (SMM) – Production of secondary lead in China is estimated to fall over 40,000 mt from January to stand at 102,200 mt in February, showed SMM’s preliminary survey.
Operating rates across secondary lead smelters are expected to average 35.36% this month, down close to 15 percentage points month on month.
The rate for large smelters with annual capacity above 100,000 mt would likely stand at 37.31%, with that for smelters with annual capacity of 50,000-100,000 mt at 31.18%. The rate for small smelters with annual capacity below 50,000 mt is likely to stand at 31.43%.
After the Lunar New Year break, lead prices fell, while prices of battery scrap remained robust as the suspension of battery scrap suppliers tightened supplies. Most battery scrap suppliers did not resume operation until the middle of the first lunar month, or February 19.
This pushed secondary lead smelters towards the brink of negative territory, lowering their production enthusiasm. Some small smelters postponed their resumption.
This, together with suspension for the holidays at the start of the month, sharply lowered the production of secondary lead for this month.