The International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) reported that, over the four months to April, zinc metal usage was 7.5% higher than over the corresponding...

John Robertson

PortfolioDirect

The International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) reported that, over the four months to April, zinc metal usage was 7.5% higher than over the corresponding period a year earlier. The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) estimated that refined copper usage over the first three months of 2014 was 14.1% higher than a year earlier. According to the ILZSG, mine output in the first four months of 2014 increased by only 17,000 tonnes in a 13 million tonne annual market. Metal production increased by 4.1% but was 107,000 tonnes less than estimated usage. The ICSG data suggest something similar. Usage was nearly 200,000 tonnes higher than metal production whereas, in 2013, production was 200,000 tonnes higher than usage. These numbers will undergo revisions and it would be unwise to place a heavy reliance on them but they offer some greater confidence about the sector trajectory.


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John Robertson is Chief Investment Strategist for PortfolioDirect a provider of resource sector investment stock ratings and portfolio strategies for mining and oil and gas investors. He has worked as a policy economist, corporate business...

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