GLOBAL ZINC & LEAD WRAP: Soaring LME stocks stifle spot buying worldwide

A major buildup in London Metal Exchange stocks of refined zinc and lead is the main story for both metals this week, with market participants taking warehouse inflows as a sign of supply greatly exceeding demand.

  • Total LME zinc stocks up 54% to 187,475 tonnes on July 29, from 121,050 tonnes on July 20. 
  • Total LME lead stocks up 84% over the same time period to 117,600 tonnes. 
  • Premiums flat globally; some buying interest seen in the United States.

US lead, zinc premiums steady as tailwind stops
Commodity-grade lead and zinc premiums in the US were unchanged in the week to Tuesday July 28, with demand said to be fading and stocks for the metals rising in exchange-affiliated warehouses.
A spurt of buying for July by car battery makers making up for time lost during Covid-19 downtime eased, leaving the related premium at the level to which it rose last week.
Fastmarkets' lead 99.97% ingot premium, ddp Midwest US assessment was 8.5-9.5 cents per lb on Tuesday, unchanged from last week's three-month high.

A normal summer lull...


Anna Xu

Archie Hunter

Orla O'Sullivan

Amy Hinton

July 29, 2020

15:07 GMT

London, Shanghai, New York