SHANGHAI, Dec 25 (SMM) – Social inventories of lead ingots across Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Tianjin fell 500 mt from the prior week to 56,500 mt mt as of Friday December 25, snapping an eight-week rising streak.
Lead prices plunged close to 14,000 yuan/mt this week as a new highly infectious coronavirus variant in Britain triggered emergency lockdown in London and many countries shut their borders to the UK, stoking worries about the post-pandemic economic recovery.
However, operating rates at downstream lead-acid battery makers were moderate and started to stockpile raw materials for January production. Meanwhile, most of the lead smelters were reluctant to sell at the low prices, prompting downstream users to the trading market, which led to the fall in lead social inventories.
In addition, environmental inspections in Guizhou and Jiangxi limited production at some secondary lead smelters, and this is expected to extend to the end of December. Lead social inventories are likely to continue to dip next week.