SHANGHAI, May 18 (SMM)—Raw materials prices mostly rose as global inflation increased in this post-pandemic era. In China, supply of lead concentrate and scrap materials is tight, while lead ingot inventories continue to build up. LME lead is expected to move between $2,050-2,300/mt in the second half of 2021, while SHFE lead between 14,350-16,500 yuan/mt, said Xia Wenming, SMM senior analyst of the lead industry.
Speaking at the 2021 16th Lead-Zinc Summit, jointly organized by the Shanghai Futures Exchange and SMM in Fujian Xiamen on May 17, Xia reviewed the lead market since the beginning of 2021 and forecast the trend of lead prices in the second half of the year.
Domestic and overseas lead concentrate supply is still tight, and treatment charges have yet to halt its decline, she said. Primary lead output continued to rise steadily, while monthly output of secondary lead improved significantly compared with a year ago as new capacities have been put into operation.
On the consumption side, operating rates across lead-acid battery makers are expected to weaken in the next three months, a traditional low season. Besides, chip shortages curbed automobile production, which may affect lead consumption in Q3 and Q4.