Industrial metals prices were higher on Shanghai and London metal exchanges on Friday, with lead at the vanguard of the advance on forecasts of higher demand and fears of lower supply.
Forecasts of increased demand for the metal for use in storage batteries, come at a time when Chinese smelters are being ordered by Beijing to cut down on pollution ahead of the winter months, when industrial smog in large cities is at its worst.
Supply shortage in Shanghai
Metal Bulletin reported that China's Guotai Jun'an Futures said: "[There is a] supply shortage in the Shanghai market, with very few offers heard. Many bids have been heard from end-users, though there have been few transactions."
From the start of the year to the end of July, the refined lead market was 109,000 tonnes in deficit, compared with a 42,000 tonne surplus during the same period in 2016, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study.
Prices for zinc were also higher after the Sichuan province in China repoted a near 70% fall in mining output of the metal during August due to disruptions from mine inspections.
"Moving forward though, there should be a recovery in output, with a number of these mines having already resumed operations," said Hamza Khan, head of commodities strategy at ING.
Three-month lead on London's ICE market rose 1.2% to $2,547 a tonne, while zinc added 1.17% to $3,225 a tonne.
Nickel was up 1% at $12,412 a tonne, while aluminium rose 0.6% to $2,105 a tonne and copper was up 0.3% at $6,847 a tonne.