Fastmarkets’ lead spot concentrate TC, low silver, cif China
assessment was $55-65 per tonne on April 30, a 20-month low and down from an $80-100-per-tonne range in March.
Lead concentrates with a low silver content are historically more popular for imports into China because a ban on silver exports has depressed local prices for the precious metal.
"There was a positive arbitrage on lead although there isn't massive demand," a trading source said.
Some smelters in China are hesitant to buy at current levels due to the sharply lower terms but some sources pointed to a lack of product availability on cargoes heading to the country.
This is in part because of a spike in container freight rates, which are now double or triple what they were toward the end...