RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  Nov 8  Comment 
Environmental concerns have limited supplies of the metal. That, plus the coming winter—prime season for car batteries, prime users of lead—have investors bullish.
Commodity Online  Sep 15  Comment 
Barclays expects tightness in lead market to continue into next year. In 2014-15, lead is likely to remain in deficit. China refined lead output is witnessing a sharp contraction with output for June-August faling 12% year-on-year.
Reuters  Apr 18  Comment 
Reuters Market Eye - Shares of auto battery makers gain on expectations of better margins after prices of lead, a key raw material for batteries, tumble near October 2012 lows.
The Hindu Business Line  Feb 9  Comment 
Lead prices have begun to creep up this year amid a whittling down of inventory and pick-up in demand. In particular, a turnaround in the fortunes of the automobile industry could boost th...
Agriculture Online  Dec 13  Comment 
Commodity Online  Oct 15  Comment 
However, there may be some near-term downside risk from positioning. Record LME open interest in the context of recent price strength is indicative of a clear net long position that is vulnerable to bouts of macro-inspired profit taking.
Benzinga  Oct 4  Comment 
Stifel Nicolaus reduced its rating on EnerSys (NYSE: ENS) from Buy to Hold and removed its previous $44 price target. Stifel Nicolaus noted, "Lead commodity prices on the LME are up 25% since bottoming in mid-August. Lead represents 30-35% of...
The Economic Times  Sep 12  Comment 
Lead prices edged up by 0.34 per cent to Rs 117.15 per kg in futures trade today due to pick up in demand in the spot market.




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Lead is a heavy element that is mined mostly in combination with Zinc. It has a wide variety of uses many of which value its ability to resist corrosion, low melting point and high density; uses range from sailboats (traditionally used to help balance it when it is without cargo, anti corrosion property helps) to x-ray machines (where it protects patients from radiation exposure), electronics and plumbing (used in joining metallic plates), pottery glazes, construction, weights, and most importantly batteries (batteries account for over 50% of usage).

In many cases it is combined with other elements such as antimony or tin intended to increase and decrease the density or weight of the substance used. It is about as widely used as copper, aluminum, zinc and iron but lags behind them in total aggregate use.

According to at least one scientist, at current usage rates lead could run out in less than half a century.[1]

Production

About half comes from metals scraps and in 2008 half of primary production came from Canada, China, USA, Australia, Peru, Mexico, North Korea, South Africa and Morocco.[1]

Smelters refuse to respond to price volatility

In January 2011 lead price volatility made the lead scrap market (the source of half of lead supplies) less attractive to consumers as a result of smelters refusing to lower their prices in response.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lead Ore (2007).
  2. (AMM) Lead scrap spreads widen; weather hits battery supply (2011-01-24).
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