WBMS - World Bureau of Metal Statistics

10/21/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2020 04:36

WBMS Press Release October 2020

WBMS Press Release October 2020
21/10/2020

January to August 2020 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. The true impact of the lockdown in many countries will emerge over the next few months. Demand for most countries is calculated on an apparent basis. Metal shipments are in transit for some weeks and stock levels are under reported and so it is likely that the demand for all metals will be overstated for the next few months.

Primary aluminium market in surplus in January to August 2020

The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for the period or January to August 2020 was a surplus of 1537 kt which follows a surplus of 500 kt recorded for the whole of 2019. Demand for primary aluminium for January to August 2020 was 42.79 million tonnes, 203 kt more than in the comparable period in 2019. 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. Production in January to August 2020 rose by 3.8 per cent. Total reported stocks rose early in the year but declined in July and August to close at the end of the period 186 kt above the December 2019 level. Shanghai stocks rose steadily in the early months but fell by 300 kt in the second quarter and closed at the end of August at 251 kt. This compares with 185.1 at the end of December 2019. LME stocks were 1550.2 kt which compares with 1473 kt at the end of 2019. 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 August 2020 by 3.81 per cent compared with the first eight months of 2019. Chinese output was estimated at 24283 kt based on higher availability of imported bauxite and alumina, and this currently accounts for about 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 8.9 per cent higher than in January to August 2019 and the output of semi-manufactures rose by 6.2 per cent. China became a net importer of unwrought aluminium in 2020. During January to August 2020 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 2778 kt which compares with 3294 kt for January to August 2019. Exports of semi manufactures fell by 14 per cent compared with the January to August 2019 total.

Production for January to August in the EU28 was 0.5 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output increased by 4.5 per cent. EU28 demand was 934 kt lower than the comparable 2019 total. Global demand rose by 0.48 per cent during January to August 2020 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In August 2020, primary aluminium production was 5763.5 kt and demand was 5461.4 kt.

Copper market in deficit in January to August 2020

The copper market recorded a deficit of 447 kt in January to August 2020 which follows a deficit of 383 kt in the whole of 2019. Reported stocks at the end of August 2020 were 37 kt higher than at the end of December 2019. This increase includes net deliveries of 57 kt out of LME warehouses and Comex stocks rose by 41.9 kt. Shanghai stocks rose by 46.5 kt during January and August. 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. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, particularly in the Chinese government stockpile.

World mine production in January to August 2020 was 13.54 million tonnes which was 0.5 per cent lower than in the same period in 2019. Global refined production for January to August 2020 was 15.8 million tonnes up 3.6 per cent compared with the previous year with significant increases recorded in China (up 623 kt) and in Chile (up 101 kt).

Global demand for January to August 2020 was 16.2 million tonnes compared with 15.5 million tonnes for the same months of 2019. Chinese apparent demand for the period January to August 2020 was 9.4 kt which was 17.5 per cent higher than the first eight months of 2019. EU28 production rose by 0.2 per cent and demand was 172 kt lower than the comparable 2019 total.

In August 2020, refined copper production was 2020.4 kt and demand was 2157.2 kt.

Lead market records surplus in January to August 2020

The lead market recorded a surplus of 44 kt in January to August 2020 which follows a deficit of 278 kt recorded in the whole of 2019. Total stocks at the end of August were 48 kt higher than at the end of 2019. 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.

World refined production during January to August 2020 from both primary and secondary sources was 8550 kt which was 4.9 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2019. Chinese apparent demand was estimated at 3962 kt which was 228 kt higher than the comparable period in 2019 and represented about 47 per cent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand has decreased by 68 kt for January to August 2020 compared to the same months of 2019.

In August 2020, refined lead production was 1160.0 kt and demand was 1147.7 kt.

Zinc market records surplus in January to August 2020

The zinc market was in surplus by 260 kt during January to August 2020 which compares with a deficit of 76 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks increased by 216 kt during January to August which included a net increase in Shanghai of 46.9 kt over the period. LME stocks rose over the January to August period to close 169 kt above the December 2019 level. LME stocks represent 31 per cent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in Asian and Dutch 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 1.5 per cent and demand was 2.2 per cent lower than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 265.7 kt, 22 per cent below the equivalent total for January to August 2019.

World demand was 192 kt lower than for January to August 2019. Chinese apparent demand was 4391 kt which is 50 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In August 2020 slab zinc production was 1153.7 kt and demand 1142.0 kt.

Nickel market records surplus in January to August 2020

The nickel market was in surplus during January to August 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 45 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 27.6 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of August 2020 were 85.4 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to August 2020 totalled 1478.2 kt and demand was 1432.8 kt.

Mine production during January to August was 1439.8 kt, 211 kt below the comparable 2019 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output fell by 90 kt compared with 2019 and apparent demand was 763.6 kt, 55 kt lower than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 146 kt lower 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.

In August 2020, nickel smelter/refinery production was 195.6 kt and demand was 189.1 kt.

Tin market records deficit in January to August 2020

The tin market recorded a deficit of 19.8 kt during January to August 2020 and there were no DLA deliveries during the period. Chinese demand is calculated on an apparent basis using reported stocks on the Shanghai exchange. Total reported stocks were 9.3 kt lower than at the end of 2019. 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 down by 32 kt, compared with the January to August 2019 total. Apparent demand in China was 4 per cent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.

Global tin demand during January to August 2020 was 235.9 kt which was 5.6 per cent lower than the comparable period of 2019. Japanese demand was 13.9 kt which was 22.2 per cent below the comparable total for January to August 2019.

In August 2020, refined production was 25.8 kt and consumption was 25.2 kt

Dated 21st October 2020

- ENDS-

The above data are taken from World Metal Statistics October 2020 published today.

Editors requiring more detailed information should contact Sue Eales by email at [email protected] or by telephone +44 (0) 1920 461274

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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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