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China Vehicles to Drive Up Demand for Lead


Soaring vehicle sales may lift China's lead consumption by nearly 10 per cent next year despite restrictions on battery-powered bicycles and motorbikes.

But global shortages of concentrate, the raw material, may constrain lead production next year in China, one of the primary lead exporters in the world and that may keep world prices firm, according to analysts.

Strong Chinese demand for lead, used mostly in vehicle and industrial batteries, helped to push up world lead prices to a contract high of US$1,785 per tonne last week.

An analyst at China's state-owned research group expects the country's consumption of lead to rise by more than 200,000 tonnes next year on strong demand from the domestic vehicles sector and buoyant battery exports.

Vehicles sales in China jumped 25.5 per cent in the first 11 months of this year to 6.45 million units, of which 4.61 million were cars, which rose 30.1 per cent.



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