21-Jul-2021 Download Article Share Via :

January to May 2021 Metals Balances

 

Please note that the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on both the supply and demand for metals worldwide. In particular, production and demand were unusually depressed in many countries early in 2020 and so year on year comparisons may appear distorted.

 

The most recent metal balances report shows the primary aluminium, lead, zinc, nickel and tin, metal balances were in deficit during January to May 2021. In contrast, copper was the only metal balance to record a surplus in the first five months of 2021. Read on to unpack the latest update on the LME metals balances.

 

Primary aluminium metal balance in deficit in January to May 2021

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for the period of January to May 2021 was a deficit of 655 kt which follows a surplus of 1174 kt recorded for the whole of 2020. Demand for primary aluminium for January to May 2021 was 29.29 million tonnes, 2745 kt more than in the comparable period in 2020. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and national lockdowns may have distorted the trade statistics. Production in January to May 2021 rose by 5.5 per cent. Total reported stocks fell in May to close at the end of the period 233 kt below the December 2020 level.  Total LME stocks (Including off warrant stocks) were 2576.9 kt at the end of May 2021 which compares with 2916.9 kt at the end of 2020. Shanghai stocks rose in the first three months of the year but fell slightly in April and May ending the period 104 kt above the December 2020 total.  No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production rose in January to May 2021 by 5.5 per cent compared with the first five months of 2020. Chinese output was estimated at 16335 kt despite slightly lower availability of imported feedstocks and this currently accounts for about 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 15 per cent higher than in January to May 2020 and the output of semi-manufactures rose by 15 per cent compared with the revised production data for the early months of 2020. China became a net importer of unwrought aluminium in 2020. During January to May 2021 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 1884 kt which compares with 1786 kt for January to May 2020. Exports of semi manufactures rose by 7 per cent compared with the January to May 2020 total

Production for January to May in the EU28 was 6.7 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output decreased by 0.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 117 kt higher than the comparable 2020 total. Global demand rose by 10.3 per cent during January to May 2021 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

May metal balances for primary aluminium recorded production at 5798.7 kt and demand at 6056.5 kt.

 

Copper metal balance in surplus in January to May 2021

The copper market recorded a surplus of 61 kt in January to May 2021 which follows a deficit of 890 kt in the whole of 2020. Reported stocks (including LME off warrant stocks) at the end of May 2021 were 53 kt higher than at the end of December 2020. Net deliveries out of the LME warehouses were 60 kt and Comex stocks decreased by 13.8 kt. Shanghai stocks rose by 132.7 kt during the first five months of the year. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns will have distorted the trade statistics. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile.

World mine production in January to May 2021 was 8.64 million tonnes which was 3.7 per cent higher than the first five months of 2020. Global refined production for January to May 2021 was 10.0 million tonnes up 2.5 per cent compared with the previous year with significant increases recorded in China (up 280 kt) and in India (up 72 kt).

Global demand in January to May 2021 was 9.94 million tonnes compared with 9.75 million tonnes for the first five months of 2020. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to May 2021 was 5.55 million tonnes which was 4.4 per cent higher than the comparable period in 2020. Reported output of semi manufactures rose by 9.8 per cent.  EU27 production rose by 3.9 per cent and demand was 12 kt lower than the comparable 2020 total.

May metal balances for refined copper recorded production at 2027.5 kt and demand at 2013.4 kt.

 

Lead metal balance records deficit in January to May 2021

The lead market recorded a deficit of 210 kt in January to May 2021 which follows a deficit of 123 kt recorded in the whole of 2020. Total stocks at the end of May were 8.5 kt higher than at the end of 2020. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns will have distorted the trade statistics.

World refined production during January to May 2021 from both primary and secondary sources was 5794 kt which was 14.5 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2020. Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 2941.1 kt which was 703 kt higher than the comparable period in 2020 and represented about 49 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has increased by 79 kt for January to May 2021 compared to the same months of 2020.

May metal balances for refined lead recorded production at 1169.8 kt and demand at 1259.6 kt.

 

Zinc metal balance records deficit in January to May 2021

The zinc market was in deficit by 83 kt during January to May 2021 which compares with a surplus of 610 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks increased by 80 kt during January to May which included a net increase in Shanghai of 42.3 kt over the period. LME (including off warrant) stocks rose over the January to May period to close 35.2 kt above the December 2020 level. Total LME stocks represent 43 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in Asian and US warehouses. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.

Global refined production rose by 5.2 per cent and demand was 15.9 per cent higher than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 235.5 kt, 37 per cent above the equivalent total for January to May 2020.

World demand was 814 kt higher than for January to May 2020. Chinese apparent demand was 2934 kt which is 49 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

May metal balances for slab zinc recorded production at 1159.4 kt and demand at 1211.6 kt.

 

Nickel metal balance records deficit in January to May 2021

The nickel market was in deficit during January to May 2021 with apparent demand exceeding production by 42.7 kt. In the whole of 2020, the calculated surplus was 92.7 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME (Including Off warrant stocks) at the end of May 2021 were 13.7 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to May 2021 totalled 1051.4 kt and demand was 1094.1 kt.

Mine production during January to May 2021 was 1060.8 kt, 173 kt above the comparable 2020 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output rose by 44 kt compared with 2020 and apparent demand was 564.9 kt 123 kt higher than in the previous year. In Indonesia, production in the first five months of 2021 was 347 kt which is 49 per cent higher than in January to May 2020 and demand more than doubled to 152 kt.

World apparent demand was 229 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.

May metal balances for nickel smelter/refinery recorded production at 228.5 kt and demand at 239.3 kt.

 

Tin metal balance records tiny deficit in January to May 2021

The tin market recorded a deficit of 1.4 kt during January to May 2021.  Chinese demand is calculated on an apparent basis using reported stocks on the Shanghai exchange.  Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.

Global reported production of refined metal was up by 35 kt, compared with the January to May 2020 total. Apparent demand in China was 28 per cent higher than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to May 2021 was 176.9 kt which was 14 per cent higher than the comparable period of 2020. Japanese demand was 11.6 kt which was 23 per cent above the comparable total for January to May 2020.

May metal balances for refined tin recorded production at 39.0 kt and consumption at 39.7 kt.  

 

Dated 21st July 2021

 

- ENDS-

 

The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics July 2021 published today. 

Editors requiring more detailed information should contact Sue Eales by email at suee@world-bureau.co.uk or by telephone +44 (0) 1920 461274

 

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

 

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All data herein may be copied freely, duplicated and further distributed provided that WBMS is cited as the source.

Editors requiring more detailed information should contact Sue Eales by email at suee@world-bureau.co.uk or by telephone +44 (0) 1920 461274

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information contained in this release WBMS and its Board of Directors can accept no responsibility for any losses incurred as a direct result of any actions based on conclusions drawn from the data.

Terms of Use

All data herein may be copied freely, duplicated and further distributed provided that WBMS is cited as the source.

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