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India
[India]
Posted on : Jun 07, 2018

The battery metal lead slipped lower in the month of April as fear of trade war between US and China dampened the global sentiments. Recently, activity in China's vast manufacturing sector eased in April, as export orders slowed in another sign of ebbing economic growth, while a simmering Si no-U.S. trade row heightened risks for the industrial sector. The official Purchasing   Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 51.4 in April, from 51.5 in March.


Lead prices moved in range of 149.80-158.90 in the month of April. US trade war with China continues to weigh on the prices. New import tariffs, as the plans are drawn now, would hit 1,333 Chinese goods headed to the United States and at least 106 high-value items from the United States destined for China.


Lead prices may get support on falling stocks, strong demand, and reduced supply following the closure of large zinc mines due to depletion (lead is often a byproduct in zinc mining). In the month of May, battery metal can trade in range of 145-168 in MCX and in range of $2250-2450 in LME.


Global battery market growth


The lead acid battery market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a CAGR of more than 4.9% during the forecast period owing to the presence of a large manufacturing & recycling base, favourable government regulations, development in automotive and industrial sectors, and increase in focus on research and development activities. Increase in vehicle production, rise in demand for lead acid batteries in industrial sector for UPS applications, and low cost and reliability to drive market growth.


World demand for lead set to increase


Globally, 85% of lead is primarily utilized in batteries for passenger cars, trucks, motor cycles, uninterruptible power supplies, and solar power storage. Demand for passenger vehicles has increased considerably and is anticipated to rise further in the near future. This, in turn, is creating high demand for lead acid batteries. Automobile and manufacturing sectors are witnessing significant expansion. This is driving the demand for stationary batteries for power backup and that for deep-cycle batteries for wheeled mobility such as golf cars, wheelchairs, and scissor lift. However, improper and illegal disposal of lead acid batteries causes environmental pollution due to its high lead content.


ILZSG Estimates of lead


It is anticipated that global demand for refined lead metal will rise by 2.7% this year to 11.90 million tonne, mainly as a consequence of increases in apparent usage in China and the United States which are forecast to grow by 3.4% and 3.1% respectively. Usage of lead metal in Europe is expected to grow by 2 .1%, influenced by a further 4.5% rise in Italy. A stable outlook is foreseen in Japan and the Republic of Korea. After growing by a marginal 0.4% in 2017, world lead mine production is forecast to rise by 4.2% to 4.90 million tonne in 2018, primarily a consequence of an expected increase in Australian output during the second half of the year.


In Cuba, production is predicted to rise as a result of higher output at the Castellanos mine. Chinese output is expected to grow by 1.2%. An anticipated increase in world refined lead metal output of 3 .8% to 11.88 million tonne in 2018 will be mainly influenced by further rises in China and the United States. Chinese output is forecast to rise by 4.7% and in the United States by 10%, recovering after a significant reduction in 2017. In Australia, output is predicted to expand by 13.7% in 2018 and in Europe is forecast to grow by 1.6%, influenced by rises in Belgium and Italy that are expected to more than offset a reduction in Poland. In nutshell, ILZSG anticipates that global demand for refined lead metal will exceed supply by 17kt in 2018.


Source: SMC Comtrade Ltd

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