The top five exporters of crude lead worldwide in 2022 were South Korea, Australia, India, Great Britain, and Canada.
What is it for? It is widely used in construction: plumbing, batteries, bullets and pellets, weights, solder, tin, fusible alloys, white paint, leaded gasoline, and radiation protection.
South Korea tops the list of exporters with exports of $789 million, up 11% year-on-year, according to World Trade Organization (OMC) data.
They were followed by Australia ($671 million, -12 percent), India ($462 million, +2%), the United Kingdom ($459 million, -1 percent), and Canada ($365 million, -20 percent).
Lead’s properties such as high density, low melting point, ductility, and relative inertness to oxidation allow it to be used in a wide variety of applications, of which use in lead-acid batteries is by far the most common.
In addition, according to China’s natural resources in the battery between lead, lead dioxide, and sulfuric acid ensure a reliable voltage source.
Despite their lower energy density and charge-discharge efficiency than lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries have stable electromotive force during discharge and a constant working voltage, and they are also significantly cheaper.
These properties and their ability to deliver high surge currents and operate over a wide temperature range make them useful in the automotive industry.
Global raw lead exports amounted to US$6.96 billion in 2022.
Lead is an internationally traded commodity, with prices fixed in commodity markets around the world.
In 2022, the world witnessed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, high inflation, and aggressive rate hikes in many major economies, causing noticeable disruptions and volatility in commodity markets around the world.
World consumption of refined lead continued to increase while world production of refined lead declined in part due to the energy crisis caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, thereby reversing the previous supply surplus of lead.