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Production and consumption

First traded on LME: 1903
Current specification introduced: 1968
World production: 10 million tonnes per annum (2011)

Lead use has changed over time and batteries now account for about 80% of world consumption. Although petrol, soldering and plumbing no longer account for significant lead use, its malleable, dense and anti-corrosive properties mean lead is now often used to line tanks that store corrosive liquids and as a shield against X and gamma-ray radiation. Other uses include the manufacture of paints and pigments and other chemical compounds.

World lead production 2011

Graph showing lead production by region

 

Region%
Asia 58
America 21
Europe 18
Africa 1
Oceania 2

Source: WBMS www.world-bureau.com

Industry consumption 2011

 

Market Sector%
Batteries - SLI replacement 40
Batteries - Industrial 30
Non-battery uses 20
Batteries - SLI OE 10

Source: CRU www.crugroup.com