Alive and kicking – lead no longer the forgotten battery metal?

LME lead prices have recovered well from the depths of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as it swept around the world.  Alongside the broader ‘macro’ recovery in economic activity lifting all LME metal prices, key ‘micro’ lead industry drivers have also played a part. Lead supplies have struggled to keep up with a strong rebound in lead demand, hit by local production shortfalls, notably in North America and Europe.  All eyes have turned to look for Asian lead to come to the rescue, notably the oversupplied Chinese market. Nevertheless,  having spare lead is one thing, shipping it to where it is needed remains a huge logistical headache.  As well as moving into the shorter-term spotlight, there are also good reasons why it is risky for investors to dismiss the prospects of battery metal lead in the longer-term too. While the current price rally does not signal a new supercycle, lead remains very much ‘alive and kicking’ in the global ‘green’ decarbonisation drive ahead.


Mr Neil Hawkes Principal Analyst, Base Metals, CRU, United Kingdom

Neil has been responsible for CRU’s lead market analysis for over 30 years.  As a recognised authority on lead, he is a regular speaker at conferences and has also undertaken research in more specific lead industry topics from time to time.