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Lead prices touched the highest since mid-MarchSep 3, 2019 11:14
Benchmark lead prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) touched more than $2,110 a tonne, the highest since mid-March, propelled by production losses at Belgian-listed Nyrstar's (BR:NYR) Port Pirie smelter in Australia
Chinese demand for lead, which is mainly used in car batteries, has been slower than expected this year as the Sino-U.S. trade war has undermined automobile sales in China, the top consumer of industrial metals.
A bright spot for lead demand is India, where usage of lead-acid batteries is expected to grow faster than any other market over the next few years.
"The powerhouse behind lead growth previously was China," Wood Mackenzie analyst Farid Ahmed said. "Now it's all about India because China's lead demand has fallen and is now in step with global growth."
Indian demand for lead is seen growing by around 5% annually between 2019 and 2025 compared to an average rise of 1.1% in the rest of the world excluding China, WoodMac says.
The International Lead and Zinc Study Group forecasts a surplus of 71,000 tonnes this year following a deficit of 79,000 tonnes in 2018.
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