SHANGHAI, Dec 27 (SMM) – Operating rates across licensed smelters of secondary lead in Jiangsu, Anhui and Henan provinces averaged 47.6% in the week ended December 27, down 0.7 percentage point from the previous week, showed SMM data.
This operating rate has slipped for three consecutive weeks, as prices declined on weaker demand and as bullion supply tightened on losses.
The average rate in Jiangsu dropped 14 percentage points to 56% as Xinchunxing reined in production in a weakening market.
The expiration of hazardous waste treatment permit affected production at Anhui Huaxin for two days this week, lowering the average operating rate for Anhui by 1.1 percentage points to 38.9%.
Operating rates in Henan rebounded 18.4 percentage points to 50.1% this week, as Jinli resumed one battery scrap breaking line at the start of the week.
Supply of secondary lead bullion further tightened as thin profits, even losses, prompted small-scale smelters to plan to begin their Chinese New Year break early. Prices of battery scrap held stable this week under the control of large-scale smelters, even as lead futures prices rallied.
Tight bullion supply, together with heavier smog in Henan and limited supply from Guizhou Taijiang Industrial Park which has yet to fully recover, limited supply of secondary refined lead.
As of December 27, secondary refined lead was quoted in line with the average price of SMM #1, on an ex-factory basis.