Current Developments in Asian Secondary Lead Production
China’s secondary lead industry, which produces by far the largest volume of recycled lead globally, has undergone wholesale restructuring and technical reform over the past two to three years. With a new generation of large-scale facilities recently completed, or currently under construction, that meet present environmental standards, the industry may be set to enjoy a period of relative calm and offering steady and growing output to the market. This presentation will consider the changes that have been made to lead recycling in China and how this action may affect the domestic and international market for refined lead. Also discussed will be the significant revisions made to regulations that affect China’s largest single market for lead–acid batteries — e-bikes and e-trikes. Developments are also taking place outside China but, typically, these have more to do with the flow of scrap materials derived from batteries than significant changes to the technologies employed. A key issue addressed is to determine the origin and volume of battery scrap in various stages of processing that is now traded in Asia.
Huw Roberts is an economist and co-founder with Claire Hassall of CHR Metals Limited. The company has an international reputation for providing in-depth analysis of the global zinc and lead industries, offering particular insight into developments in China. It also publishes detailed forecasts of global industrial production in its regular monthly report, Global IP Watch. Huw’s career in the metals industry includes working for an LME broker, a number of years with a mining company, and senior positions in metals industry consultancy.