Out of the base metals complex, lead stocks gained the most in the week, rising to 168,421 tonnes, up by 10,348 tonnes - or 6.5% - from 158,073 tonnes one week ago. Lead stocks have now logged six straight weeks of gains. The largest inflow was at Zhongchu Wusong warehouse, Shanghai, where volumes were up by 558 tonnes - or 41% - from one  week earlier, to 1,920 tonnes, according to the SHFE weekly stocks report.

This comes amid an unusual seasonal lull. Market demand typically peaks by mid year but it currently remains muted, driving up local stocks. Volumes that have not changed hands in the spot market were moved into warehouses. Traders are also exploring the possibility of moving units out of the country.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the lead 99.97% ingot premium, ddp Midwest US was at 15-18 cents per lb on July 27, the highest level since 2012.

Fastmarkets’ monthly assessment of the lead spot concentrate TC, low silver, cif China was $25-40 per tonne on June 25, down by $15 per tonne from $40-55 per tonne in May.

Nickel stocks made muted gains in the week, up by 106 tonnes - or 1.53% - to 7,045 tonnes from 6,939 tonnes one week prior. Nickel stocks had fallen by 11.0% in the previous week.

Other base metals stock changes
  • Copper stocks fell by 1,997 tonnes (2.1%) to 94,090 tonnes.
  • Aluminium stocks fell by 10,452 tonnes (3.9%) to 256,214 tonnes.
  • Zinc stocks fell by 216 tonnes (0.6%) to 36,224 tonnes.
  • Tin stocks down by 92 tonnes (2.9%) to 3,064 tonnes.