ILZSGInternational Lead and Zinc Study Group
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However, there was no growth at all in the first four months of the year, according to the ILZSG's latest monthly update.
According to ILZSG, global consumption of zinc was 13,861,000 tons in 2016 with global demand expected to increase to 14,280,000 tons in 2018.
ILZSG itself estimates that total zinc inventory, including exchange-registered tonnage, metal held by China's State Reserves Bureau (SRB) and "commercial stocks" held by producers, consumers and merchants, has declined from a peak of 2.2mn tonnes in January 2013 to 1.5mn tonnes as of the end of March 2016.
Moreover, ILZSG figures suggest that lead is closer to balance than its "ugly sister", registering a cumulative surplus of 32,000 tons in the first five months of this year, compared with a surplus of 96,000 tons in the equivalent period of 2011.
ILZSG, for example, is forecasting a 12.4-percent lift in Chinese production.
Last year, world smelter production of lead posted a 10.7% increase to 7.57mt, while consumption was 7.65mt, according to the ILZSG. The global refined lead deficit was consequently 80,000t, though considerably below 308,000t recorded in 2004.
Prospects for both metals are looking fairly positive according to the International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
Zinc possesses quite strong physical fundamentals and according to the International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), world mined output in 2000 grew to 8.5mt, while total demand for refined zinc was assessed at 8.68mt.