In India, prices of lead scrap and ingot increased marginally by approximately 1-2pc from the previous week on improved demand. The official three-month LME lead Tuesday rose by $24/m or 1pc to settle at $2,005/mt from the prior Tuesday. This is also supporting scrap and ingot prices in the domestic market. Market sentiments improved as auto sales have recovered in most countries since July and auto manufacturers have started ramping up production.
The Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) on Wednesday settled at Rs81,438/mt ($1,097.55/mt) del Delhi consumer, up by Rs271/mt from the prior week on high demand from lead smelters in the city. Smelters in Central India are buying batteries from Delhi scrap sellers as prices in Delhi are relatively less. The Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) rose by Rs1,723/mt and settled at Rs84,029/mt del consumer on Wednesday from the preceding week. Scrap sellers have raised offers as demand from smelters has increased substantially with more and more smelters ramping production. The market for battery scrap in Delhi and Mumbai has strengthened in terms of spreads too as they narrowed by approximately 1-2pc from the prior week depicting a stronger market in India.
Demand for lead batteries has significantly improved in August as smelters are operating at over 80pc capacity while most exceeded 90pc capacity utilisation rates since the beginning of August. Sales of new batteries is healthy, said battery scrap distributor in Mumbai. Demand for both industrial and auto batteries is strong. Prices of drained lead batteries in Delhi and in Mumbai are around Rs4,000/mt shy of reaching January levels.
Secondary lead ingot prices are also up this week by approximately 1-2pc in Mumbai and Delhi. The Davis Index for secondary lead ingot Wednesday rose by Rs2,617/mt to settle at Rs148,411/mt ex-works Mumbai producer from the previous week. The market for secondary lead ingot in Mumbai strengthened as spreads widened by almost 1.5pc from the prior week. Domestic prices of ingots rose higher relative to LME levels.
The Davis Index for secondary lead ingot in Delhi Wednesday settled at Rs145,000/mt ex-works producer up by Rs1,385/mt from previous Wednesday. The index settled 0.96pc higher from the week prior while spreads widened by 0.61pc from the previous week projecting strengthened markets over the week.
Prices are expected to rise further, said smelters, who are contemplating to raise offers in anticipation of more orders as major automakers increase production. There is also an apparent shortage of secondary lead ingots in Mumbai. Smelters are still facing shortages of labourers which has reduced their productivity. Furthermore, logistical disruptions are hampering market movements as monsoon continues to play spoilsport.