The nonferrous metal market of China has been open since the year 1993, and domestic lead-zinc market is largely influenced by international market due to their connection. In 2003, China became the world's largest lead producer, leaving America behind. In 2006, the world's refined lead output amounted to 8.05 million tons, of which 34% came from China.
Along with the resuscitation of nonferrous metal industry in recent years, China has increased the investment in lead smelting and mine exploitation, of which the production capacity of lead smelting grew more rapidly.
At present, China is the world's largest lead producer and consumer. Along with the rapid growth of China's economy, the usage of basic raw materials has been increased year by year, which also boosted the growth of global consumption.
In 2007, the global economy is supposed to maintain the vigorous growth for the fifth year. Although America's economy growth will slow down somewhat, the GDP may rise at 2%-3%. However, Europe, Japan and most newly-rising markets will maintain the vigorous momentum.
Due to the scattered production capacity of domestic lead-zinc mines, it's difficult to get the output statistics of small-size mines. Therefore, it's estimated that China's actual output of refined lead ore output will be much higher than 740 thousand tons. Meanwhile, the secondary lead and lead ore concentrate will fetch up the supply gap of domestic lead ore concentrate. Supposedly, China's self-supplying ratio of lead ore concentrate will be less than 50%; along with the gradual increase of China's lead smelting production capacity, its demand for imported lead ore concentrate will also grow continuously.