| Current Members Log-In |  View Your Shopping Cart
Data Products
CRB Indexes

Fundamental Data
Fundamental Market Service
CRB Encyclopedia of Commodity and Financial Charts
CRB Commodity Yearbook
Commodity Indexes
Commodity Data
Commodity Newswires
- CRB Fundamentals - 2008 Commodity Articles


Lead (symbol Pb) is a dense, toxic, bluish-gray metallic element, and is the heaviest stable element. Lead was one of the first known metals. The ancients used lead in face powders, rouges, mascaras, paints, condiments, wine preservatives, and water supply plumbing. The Romans were slowly poisoned from lead because of its diverse daily usage.

Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver, and most often copper. The most common lead ore is galena, containing 86.6% lead. Cerussite and angleside are other common varieties of lead. More than half of the lead currently used comes from recycling.

Lead is used in building construction, bullets and shot, tank and pipe lining, storage batteries, and electric cable sheathing. Lead is used extensively as a protective shielding for radioactive material (e.g., X-ray apparatus) because of its high density and nuclear properties. Lead is also part of solder, pewter, and fusible alloys.

Lead futures and options trade at the London Metal Exchange (LME). The LME lead futures contract calls for the delivery of 25 metric tons of at least 99.970% purity lead ingots (pigs). The contract is priced in U.S. dollars per metric ton. Lead first started trading on the LME in 1903.

Prices - The price of lead rose steadily from its level of about $1,700 per metric ton at the beginning of 2007 to peak at about $4,000 per metric ton in September 2007. From there the price fell sharply to about $2,500 per metric ton where it ended the year. The price started to rally early in 2008 to a range of about $3,000 per metric ton.

Supply - World smelter production of lead (both primary and secondary) in 2006 (the latest data available) rose +4.3% yr/yr to 8.030 million metric tons to post a new record high production level. The world's largest smelter producers of lead (both primary and secondary) are China with 34% of world production in 2006, followed by the U.S. with 16%, Germany with 4%, and the UK with 4%.

U.S. mine production of recoverable lead fell -1.6% yr/yr to 419,000 metric tons in 2006, to post an11-year low. Missouri was responsible for 94% of U.S. production, with the remainder produced mainly by Idaho and Montana. Lead recovered from scrap in the U.S. (secondary production) rose +0.5% yr/yr in 2007 (through June, annualized) to 1.164 million metric tons, to post a new record high. The amount of lead recovered from scrap is more than twice the amount of lead produced in the U.S. from mines (primary production). The value of U.S. secondary lead production in 2006 rose +27.7% to $1.980 billion, which was another new record high.

Demand - U.S. lead consumption in 2007 (through June, annualized) rose + 3.0% to 1.570 million metric tons, continuing to recover from the 9-year low of 1.417 million metric tons seen in 2004. The record level of U.S. lead consumption was 1.680 million metric tons posted in 1999.

Trade - The U.S. relied on imports for 2% of its lead consumption in 2006 (latest data available). U.S. imports of lead pigs and bars in 2006 rose +11.1% yr/yr to 331,000 metric tons. U.S. lead exports in 2006 were comprised of ore concentrate (298,000 metric tons), scrap (121,000 metric tons), unwrought lead (52,700 metric tons), and wrought lead (15,800 metric tons).

Quotes & Charts | About CRB | Contact CRB | Support Pages | Sitemap
Copyright © 1934 - 2018 by Commodity Research Bureau - CRB. All Rights Reserved.
Market data provided by ddf and subject to user agreement and privacy policy.
209 W. Jackson Blvd. • Suite 200 • Chicago, Illinois 60606-6940 • USA
Phone: 800.621.5271 or 312.554.8456 • Fax: 312.939.4135 • Email: info@crbtrader.com
Press Ctrl+D to bookmark this page - Set http://www.crbtrader.com as your Home Page