Dalal Street Investment Journal - - SPECIAL REPORT -

Lead, the fourth most-used metal world­wide, has the largest ap­pli­ca­tions in bat­ter­ies and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The metal can be re­cy­cled in­def­i­nitely with­out los­ing its prop­er­ties, with such re­cy­cled metal ac­count­ing for more than 60 per cent of the to­tal pro­duc­tion. Af­ter start­ing the year 2016 at less than $1600 per met­ric tonne, lead prices had un­der­per­formed the other base met­als for most part of 2016, but lead prices took a dra­matic turn in the last quar­ter of CY2016 due to short­age of the metal in China as a re­sult of mine clo­sures. The US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey also notes that sup­ply was fur­ther con­strained by mine clo­sures in Aus­tralia and re­duced US out­put. In ad­di­tion, the metal ben­e­fited from sea­sonal bat­tery de­mand, which in­creased the mar­ket’s ap­petite for the metal.

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