Boliden, Sweden -- Boliden AB metals company has released its Year-end Report 2011. It says that global demand for base metals continued good during the fourth quarter, remaining on a par with levels in the previous quarter and increasing in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010. The European metals market weakened, however, during the period and base metal prices were, on average, lower in both USD and SEK than in the preceding quarter.
Mined production of copper increased in comparison with the previous quarter but fell for other metals, primarily due to lower grades. Smelters production was slightly down for most metals in comparison with the previous quarter. This fall was mainly due to the Finnish metalworkers strike in October and disruptions to production at Harjavalta.
Global demand for base metals has developed as follows:
Global demand for zinc was slightly lower than in the previous quarter but higher than in the fourth quarter of 2010. Demand in mature economies was driven by a slight increase in industrial production levels in comparison with the previous year. Activity levels in the construction sector continued weak overall and remained on a par with levels last year. Automotive production in China during the fourth quarter was on a par with levels during the corresponding period in 2010 and 5 per cent up for the year as a whole. Levels of growth in infrastructural investments remained high in China. Global demand for zinc is estimated to have increased by approximately 4 per cent for the year as a whole.
Global demand for copper is estimated to have increased in comparison with both the third quarter of 2011 and the corresponding quarter of 2010. Overall demand was slightly lower in mature economies than was the case last year, and while demand fell in Western Europe, the USA and Japan, it grew sharply in South Korea and parts of Eastern Europe. Demand in China and other developing countries remained on a par with levels in the third quarter but rose sharply in comparison with the previous year. Global demand for the year as a whole is estimated to have increased by approximately three per cent.
Demand for lead is driven to a considerable extent by the demand for automotive batteries and hence by automotive production, but to an even greater extent by demand for replacement batteries for vehicles and batteries for industrial use. The rate of change in demand between economic booms and recessions is normally lower than that for copper and zinc as the replacement market for automotive batteries is relatively stable.
Global demand for lead was slightly higher than in both the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2010. Smelter production is estimated to have been higher than in the previous quarter but slightly lower than in the corresponding period in 2010. Official stock levels of lead were slightly lower at the end of the fourth quarter than at the end of the third, but have risen by 69 per cent for the year as a whole. Mined production increased sharply in comparison with last year and slightly exceeded smelters demand.
The full Year-end Report 2011 can be downloaded under cision.com.
This information was presented by Cision. Quelle: Business Wire