SHANGHAI, Apr 26 (SMM) – Chinese primary lead smelters maintained regular operation in the week ended Friday April 26, and destocked before downstream battery plants closed for the upcoming Labour Day holiday.
Operating rates across primary lead smelters in Henan, Hunan and Yunnan provinces averaged 59% in the week through April 26, flat from a week earlier.
This week, primary smelters in Henan operated at an average rate of 77.7%, smelters in Yunnan at 27.7%, and Hunan smelters at 47.7%.
Yunnan Chihong Zinc & Germanium and Anhui Tongguan will recover form maintenance in May, but Hunan Jingui will start maintenance on April 28, Hechi Nanfang on May 15, and Chifengshan Gold Silver & Lead on April 26. This is expected to lower output of primary lead by 25,000-30,000 mt month on month in May, and to provide upward momentum in lead prices after fundamentals weighed on prices for nearly half a year.
SMM expects changes in social inventories of primary lead in May to reflect the actual impact of maintenance and to determine lead prices.