SHANGHAI, Jun 25 (SMM) - Social inventories of lead ingots across Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Tianjin decreased 4,200 mt from the prior week but rose 600 mt from June 21 to 125,700 mt as of Friday June 25, an SMM survey showed.
Lead supply did not fully recover amid maintenance in both primary and secondary lead smelters. Secondary lead smelters held prices firmly for shipments, and the demand turned to primary lead at lower prices early this week, leading to the decline in lead ingot inventories. However, lead prices fluctuated upward later this week, and downstream purchase declined due to the high prices. The discounts of secondary refined lead expanded to 350-250 yuan/mt (ex-factory) over the average price of SMM #1 lead as of June 25. Downstream rigid demand switched to the secondary lead, and lead ingot inventories increased slightly. Currently, secondary lead smelters are more active to ship goods amid recovered profits. If the consumption does not rebound significantly, lead ingot social inventories are likely to further increase.