Secondary lead ingot prices fell in the seven days leading to June 3, on lower demand in the domestic market. The weekly Davis Index for secondary lead ingots in Delhi fell by Rs5,050/mt to Rs139,500/mt ($1,848/mt) ex-works producer. In Mumbai, the index remained flat at Rs134,750/mt ex-works producer, as the city is coping with the difficulties of the COVID-19 lockdown and on June 3, the Nisarg Cyclone made landfall severely disrupting life.
Delhi smelters were offering prices around Rs139,000/mt in the previous week in expectation of stronger bids, however, buyers did not respond to those levels, seeking instead a drop to Rs134,000/mt, said an ingot buyer in Delhi. Offers were still deemed high and fewer trades took place. This could result in lower prices this following week. Battery makers are in wait-and-watch mode amid a squeeze in demand for new batteries in domestic markets. COVID-19 has led to battery makers forming new strategies to conquer the challenges they are facing which is impacting smelters and battery scrap prices.
Exports of secondary lead ingot have outpaced sales in the domestic market, said a spokesperson from a lead recycling company with relatively higher exports taking place as demand, pan-India, is weak. This is due to battery-making companies producing at moderate levels and operating below 60pc capacity. Ingot producers and trading agencies are trying to capture export markets amidst the unreliable demand conditions in India which could underpin the domestic prices for secondary lead ingot.
The Davis Index for lead batteries (drained) in Delhi settled at Rs79,950/mt Wednesday, a decline of Rs2,850/mt from Rs82,800/mt the prior week, as demand from smelters inched lower. In Mumbai, battery scrap collection has not completely resumed, however, smelters in the city have enough inventories to last a few weeks, considering production of secondary lead ingots remains under 50pc capacity.
Primary lead ingot producer in India has revised prices downwards by Rs3,200, to Rs149,100/mt on June 1 from Rs152,300/mt on May 28. For the week ending June 3, the official three-month LME lead contract fell by $19/mt to $1,656/mt.
($1 = Rs75.68)