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LME Lead likely to average $2,557 a ton in 2018

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NEW YORK (Scrap Register): The Canadian investment bank, TD Securities looks for lead prices at London Metal Exchange to average $2,557 a ton during the year 2018.

TD Securities’ quarterly average forecasts show that analysts expect Lead prices to average $2,646 a ton during the first two quarters of the next year and $2,469 a ton during the last two quarters.

The outlook for lead remains quite similar to that of its sister metal zinc. Battery replacement demand should remain firm in the US, while European and Chinese autos have held strong, despite some headwinds in China.

Furthermore, the growth in e-bikes in Asian and European markets, along with the gradual increase in electric vehicles should also provide additional growth demand for batteries going forward.

Meanwhile, the global shortage of mine supply has led to negative treatment charges in October, which is unprecedented for this century. Considering that lead is often mined alongside of zinc, TD Securities expects that prices should follow a similar path.

Considering the outlook for robust global growth, that the current price environment is conducive to restarts and that large producers could be preparing their workforce prior to reviving mothballed mines, we expect that zinc/lead prices should be supported in the first half of the year, before the additional supply sees prices somewhat cool, TD Securities added.

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