SHANGHAI, Dec 6 (SMM) – Operating rates across primary lead smelters in Henan, Hunan and Yunnan provinces rose 1.9 percentage points from the prior week to an average rate of 59.8% in the week ending December 6, according to an SMM survey, indicating greater supply pressure across the market.
Operating rate at Hunan was 7.3 percentage points higher to 51.6% as some smelters stepped up production for higher profits after regional treatment charges for lead concentrate rose.
The commissioning of the new production line at Hunan Shuikoushan Zhihui smelter also helped lift production.
Primary lead smelters in Yunnan maintained stable operations this week, with the operating rate unchanged at 43.8%.
Operating rate for Henan, meanwhile, slipped 0.6 percentage point to 70.7%, as some smelters in Jiyuan were required to curb their smelting stage under orange alert for heavy pollution.
The production curbs did not impact production of refined lead significantly as smelters had sufficient stockpiles of raw materials.