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[United Kingdom]
Posted on : May 25, 2006

The lead market was in a surplus of 47,000 mt in the initial quarter of
2006 and reported stocks were 58,000 tons higher than December 2005, as per the
latest report by the WB of Metal Statistics, or WBMS.

Mine production rose by 37% in the year because further gains in output from
Chinese mines, WBMS said. Refined production was 1.88 million tons, up 8.7% from
a year erstwhile with all of the increase recorded in China.

"Global demand growth was limited to 2.6%, with weaker European demand reducing
the impact of the 22% increase in Chinese consumption," WBMS said. "In March,
Chinese demand recorded the highest ever monthly total of 213,000 tons," WBMS

World production in the month of March was 675,000 tons and demand was 665,000
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