SHANGHAI, Jul 19 (SMM) – Chinese primary lead smelters in Henan, Hunan and Yunnan provinces maintained stable operations in the week ended Friday July 19, and this kept the average operating rate of the three areas unchanged from the previous week, at 55.9%.
Smelters in other areas in China continued their recovery from maintenance this week. In Henan, Minshan smelter plans to resume around July 20, and Yuguang is scheduled to restart on July 26.
Purchases by traders accounted for the majority of recent lead sales, as recent gains in prices of futures prompted traders to purchase for hedging opportunities. However, downstream consumers—lead-acid battery producers—remained cautious about purchasing lead as end-market consumption struggled to pick up.
This suggested that fundamentals were not a major driver for Shanghai lead recently and that fund purchases and a strong London lead played a bigger role.