SHANGHAI, Jun 18 (SMM) – Concentrated maintenance across primary lead smelters, which started in May, are expected to conclude by the end of June and this is set to grow supplies and weigh on lead prices in July, SMM forecasts.
SMM retains the expectation that it is unlikely for Shanghai lead prices to shrug off resistance from 16,300 yuan/mt in July. Tight supplies of battery scrap will keep raw material costs firm and underpin lead prices.
Primary lead smelters are expected to resume normal production in the first half of July. SMM expects the recovery to buoy supply of refined lead on the month in July, despite new scheduled maintenance at Henan Minshan and potential overhaul at Hunan Yinxing.
SMM learned that Guangxi Hechi Nanfang will recover from maintenance by the end of June. Chifengshan Gold, Silver & Lead in Inner Mongolia and Shuikoushan smelter in Hunan have resumed as of Tuesday June 18.
As China’s passenger vehicle market showed limited signs of picking up, continued poor demand from lead-acid battery producers will also pressure on lead prices in July. Slow downstream consumption drove some battery plants into production cuts or suspension from the start of June.