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Lead is a metal which is mainly used in lead-acid batteries.[1] Annual world production was 8.7 million metric tons in 2008.[2]

Exposure to lead causes adverse clinical health effects. The usage of the metal had been restricted for many applications (e.g. painting) in the past decade.

The chart at left shows continuos front-month futures prices for Lead traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME).[3]

Lead Producers

Lead is a major by-product in zinc mining activities.

Key Trends and Forces

Global Economic Downturn

The usage of lead is related to the number of deployed vehicles. Lead-acid batteries have a limited lifecycle and need frequent replacement. However, most of the lead can be recovered from the old batteries and reused.

Emerging Economies

Improving living conditions increase the number of light duty vehicles for private transport and the number of trucks required for the transport of goods. Specific for this economies will be the extensive usage of lead-acid batteries in electrical driven bicycles.

New Electrification Wave

Lead-acid batteries do not suit the need for use with hybrid or fuel cell powertrains and will be replaced by other battery technology (NiMH or Lithium).

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References

  1. International Zinc and Lead Study Group
  2. International Zinc and Lead Study Group - Press Release, February 2009
  3. London Metal Exchange (LME) London Metal Exchange - Standard Lead Hub Page
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