Operating rate across China’s secondary lead smelters rose slower than?expected?in July as thin margins eroded producers’ enthusiasm. Rates fell even as the central government eased environmental restrictions, a survey found.?
The operating rate gained 2.8 percentage points from June and stood at?51.1 % in July. This is?10.3 percentage points lower than the same period last year. Smelters produced 137,200 mt of secondary lead last month, up 7,900 mt from June.
Profit margins began to narrow last month as operations at secondary lead smelters recovered from the end of the month-long environmental reviews. A slower drop in?battery scrap prices, compared with that of lead, also accounted for the thinner profits.
We expect output and the overall operating rate to remain little changed this month from July as?environmental restrictions ease and certified smelte