Most base metals markets in deficit as demand eclipse output
07:56, 16 December 2021
Base metals markets, except for tin, were in deficit during the January to October this year as increasing levels of demand outpaced a rise in the production of these commodities.
The primary aluminium market recorded a deficit of 1,366 kilotonnes for January to October 2021 after a surplus of 1,271 kilotonnes for the whole of 2020, World Bureau of Metal Statistics said in its report on Wednesday.
Global demand for the metal, used for food packaging to aeroplane manufacturing, increased by 8.3% during January to October 2021 year-on-year, while production only rose by 4.1% in the same period. Demand for the primary aluminium for the period was 57.61 million tonnes, 4,419 kilotonnes more than the comparable period in 2020.
The agency advised demand is measured on an apparent basis and national lockdowns may have distorted trade statistics.
The copper market saw a deficit of 188 kilotonnes in January to October 2021, narrowing from a deficit of 691.9 kilotonnes in the whole of 2020.
World copper mine production in the first 10 months of 2021 rose by 4.6% to was 17.69 million tonnes, compared with the same period in 2020, while global refined tin output increased 1.3% year-on-year to 20.38 million tonnes.
Global demand for copper, used in construction material to electronics, dropped slightly to 20.57 million tonnes, from 20.70 million tonnes for the first 10 months of 2020.
Demand for refined nickel stood at 2,424.9 kilotonnes in January to October 2021, exceeding production of 2,291.8 kilotonnes which resulted in a deficit of 133.1 kilotonnes. However, nickel mine production in the first 10 months of 2021 rose by 238 kilotonnes to 2,251.6 kilotonnes from the same period last year.
After recorded a surplus of 612 kilotonnes for the full year of 2020, the zinc market was in deficit by 5.4 kilotonnes during January to October 2021 as demand growth outpaced output.
Global refined production of zinc, which is used to galvanise other metals to prevent rust, rose by 1.2%, while demand was up by 6.5% from the levels recorded a year ago.
Deficit in the lead market swell to 250.4 kilotonnes in January to October 2021, from a deficit of 112.2 kilotonnes recorded for the full year of 2020.
Tin records surplus
Tin was the only base metals which recorded a surplus as China’s demand soften. The metal was in surplus of 2.1 kilotonnes in the January to October 2021 period. Global production of refined tin was up by 16 kilotonnes in the period, compared with the January to October 2020 period.
China’s demand for the metal used for soldering electronic parts in the first 10 months of 2021 dropped by 4%, from the same period last year. Overall, global tin demand during the January to October period climbed by 1.7% at 321.2 kilotonnes.
Read more: Industrial metals rebound on bullish long-term demand