In January 2024, the domestic refined lead production was 294,900 mt, down 4.41% month-on-month and up 3.36% year-on-year. Production capacities of enterprises involved in the survey totalled 6.0063 million mt in 2024.
According to SMM survey, a large number of refined lead smelters, most of which were medium and large-scale enterprises, undertook maintenance in January, lowering output. Lead smelting enterprises in Henan, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Guangdong and other regions all undertook maintenance. Many enterprises conducted maintenance from early to mid-January, thus the supply of lead ingots was particularly tight in early January. Even if some smelters in Henan, Yunnan and Hunan resumed production after maintenance, the output growth failed to make up for the output decline.
In February, with the arrival of the statutory holidays from February 10-17 for Chinese New Year holidays, a small number of refined lead smelters plan to close for maintenance. Refined lead output will continue to decline in February. Most other smelters plan to continue production as usual during the Chinese New Year holidays, so the overall output is expected to see a small month-on-month decrease. SMM predicts that refined lead output will drop slightly to 290,000 mt in February.